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

November 2017 Archives

The Texas Twitter Laureate, and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee, Justice Don Willett, found himself in the hot seat during his Senate confirmation hearing due to his large social media following. However, it was not just the following that drew scrutiny, but also the content of a handful of his past tweets, as well as his future social media plans (if confirmed).

After the nomination, Willett basically signed off Twitter and has only tweeted once since his nomination to the Fifth Circuit bench. The last tweet, just posted last week after a month and a half of Twitter-silence, was a famous Calvin Coolidge quote paired with a rather judicial, yet seemingly stock, image of the Constitution laid out over a U.S. flag: "To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race." While inspirational, it certainly deviates from his past focus of making light of life and the justice system.

The civil rights case of a man alleging a violation of his right to privacy against Verizon is notable for a couple reasons. But the Alexander v. Verizon matter might not be getting as much attention for the substantive part of the case, but rather for an interesting footnote.

First off, there is actually an interesting legal case that involves not-so-emerging technology and how it is now used by law enforcement, and whether service providers can be liable for bad police work.

Secondly, the case contains that rather loaded footnote discussing the great online debate of whether the word internet should be capitalized, or not, and when.

The controversial 'sanctuary cities ban' passed by the Texas legislature in the spring of 2017 had its day in court before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier this year, a federal district court blocked the law from taking effect. The district court found that imposing criminal penalties on officers that do not honor immigration detention requests, as well as imposing civil fines and removal from office against officials who limit or fail to endorse immigration enforcement.

However, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit unblocked the portion of the ban about officers being required to honor the detention requests ahead of this appeal in September.