U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

April 2017 Archives

Gun-Toting Plaintiff Blows Statute of Repose

Sorry for this, but Edward Burdett shot himself in the foot.

Literally, Burdett shot himself in the foot and then sued the gunmaker. Adding insult to injury, a judge dismissed Burdett's case because he blew the statute of repose.

In Burdett v. Remington Arms Company, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals then stomped it out. Just shooting from the hip here.

The straight story goes like this:

Texas's voter identification law, widely viewed as one of the harshest in the country, was passed with a discriminatory purpose, a district court in Texas ruled yesterday. The ruling comes on remand from an en banc Fifth Circuit, which ruled last July that the law had a discriminatory effect, but sent the case back down to reconsider evidence going to whether the law was intended to discriminate. Yesterday, district court judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos answered, once again, "Yes, it was."

The ruling is particularly important, since a finding of discriminatory purpose could kill the voter ID law altogether and could constitute grounds for putting Texas under federal supervision.

Mississippi Can Keep Its Flag, 5th Cir. Rules

A federal appeals court rejected a black man's attempt to bring down Mississippi's flag, which features a Confederate battle ensign and enshrines the state's slave history.

Carlos Moore, an attorney, claimed the Confederate emblem violated his rights to Equal Protection. But the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal said he did not have standing to sue, even though he may have felt the stigma from the vestige of slavery in Moore v. Governor Dewey Phillip Bryant.

"Plaintiff's exposure to the Mississippi flag in courtrooms where he practices and his alleged physical injuries resulting from that exposure demonstrate that he strongly feels the stigmatic harm flowing from the flag," Judge Stephen Higginson wrote for the unanimous court.

However, the court explained, stigmatic injury is not injury-in-fact for standing purposes.