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

March 2018 Archives

Judge Throws Out 'Clock Boy' Discrimination Case

Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old student, made a clock and took it to school.

But it looked like a bomb, his teacher said. The principal agreed and summoned police, who arrested the teenager.

It turned out to be a clock, but blew up in a media storm and an invitation to the White House for the baffled "clock boy." His parents sued unsuccessfully, apparently because there is no case for being smarter than your teacher.

This week, the Texas law against sanctuary city policies was upheld, again, by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, this time sitting en banc. The preliminary injunction, which the circuit court stayed pending the first appeal to the panel, was all but fully dismantled by the full appellate court.

The only part of the law that the court did not lift the injunction involved penalizing officials that failed to endorse the anti-sanctuary law. The court found that the law was overly broad in what it sought to restrict, particularly given that it would prohibit (or penalize) an elected official who spoke out against the law, or other immigration policies while campaigning.

Going through a bankruptcy is never easy for individuals. While the resulting freedom from debt can be life changing, failing to follow the rules can result in a bankruptcy petition being rejected, or certain assets not being protecting from creditors.

Recently, in a Fifth Circuit appeal from a Texas bankruptcy matter, a petitioner almost lost the proceeds from the sale of their home to the bankruptcy trustee due to a misunderstood technicality of the timing for the Texas homestead exemption. The appellate court provided some much needed guidance on the issue and reversed the district court's reversal of the bankruptcy court's order protecting the proceeds from the sale of a homestead post-petition that were not reinvested in a new homestead.

Twenty States Sue to Finish Off Obamacare

President Trump took out Obamacare's tax penalty for individuals who don't have health insurance, but attorneys general across the country want to kill off the rest of the health insurance legislation.

The President and fellow Republicans repealed the "individual mandate" of the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine. The mandate will expire in 2019.

In the meantime, 20 states have sued to undo the entire act. They say that without the mandate, Obamacare is unlawful.