U.S. Sixth Circuit - FindLaw

U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


The Sixth Circuit is progressing with cases related to same sex marriage, as it consolidated appeals for all cases pending in that circuit. Meanwhile, the court has heard appeals related to Detroit's bankruptcy, and a habeas case resting on elementary tenets of criminal procedure.

Let's take a look at the most recent happenings in the Sixth Circuit.

You may not be familiar with Insane Clown Posse's music, but you probably are familiar with the way they look. I mean, how many rappers do you know that wear clown makeup? (Yes, we're serious). And, much to our chagrin surprise, they are quite successful and even have a devoted following of fans called Juggalos.

Juggalos show their unity by wearing clown makeup, or sporting HatchetGear, a line of apparel with the Hatchetman logo, as well as other characteristics. Um, so why do we care? Because the FBI does, and because Insane Clown Posse, Juggalos and the ACLU of Michigan have sued the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice -- that's why.

The Sixth Circuit is seeing a lot action lately on the same sex marriage front, with all four states in the circuit facing appeals on the issue. As the Sixth Circuit will join the national debate on same sex marriage, we also have other cases making progress though the courts related to hate crimes and a death row inmate's attempt at a second chance.

Read on for details ...

Whew. Even when you know a dangerous and terrible precedent is likely to be overturned, it's never over until it's over, right?

Well, it's over, barring en banc or U.S. Supreme Court review. Both of those seem like long shots, considering the Sixth Circuit's opinion falls in line with every other circuit to consider Communications Decency Act (Section 230) immunity.

Sarah Jones, a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and teacher who slept with a student, took umbrage at user-submitted gossip on TheDirty.com (calling her promiscuous, STD-ridden, and not so easy on the eyes). The the law seemed clear before her case was decided: Websites aren't liable for what their users say. A district court, however, botched the law completely, and held TheDirty.com liable for the gossip.

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit thankfully and predictably reversed.

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There's a lot happening in the Sixth Circuit. With the status of Michigan's same sex marriage status up in the air, a new lawsuit has been filed by the ACLU. What will the fate of the couples married in the small window of time when same sex marriage was legal in the state?

We also remember a former Sixth Circuit judge who broke boundaries and look at what influences federal judges.

We read so many denials of petitions for writ of habeas corpus, that when we come across one that reverses a denial of a petition, our ears perk up.

But when a circuit panel votes to rehear the case en banc, then we are all ears. Here's a breakdown on the latest rehearing en banc granted by the Sixth Circuit.

The Sixth Circuit is hearing several appeals from different states regarding the recognition of same sex marriages in other states. In Tennessee, the Sixth Circuit granted a stay of a preliminary injunction, and in Kentucky, the parties are filing appellate briefs.

And while all this same sex marriage litigation is happening, three Kentucky death row inmates just want to sweat it out.

6th Cir: Not Allowing Telecommuting for IBS Is a Load of ...

Let's say you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disease that causes fecal incontinence. Sometimes it's so bad that you can't drive to work without soiling yourself, or, if you get to work, you can't get up from your desk without soiling yourself. Might telecommuting be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

On April 22, the Sixth Circuit decided yes.

It is a rare benchslap that lasts seven pages. It's not uncommon to see a paragraph or two that mocks a party's unreasonable position. And we've seen Judge Kethledge mock parties' unreasonable stances before, but a full seven pages? Well done, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- you've surpassed the "golden sombrero" to reach a whole new level of ineptitude.

What caused the seven page rant/affirmed dismissal? Only a hypocritical lawsuit supported by a comical attempt at producing scientific methodology in support a frivolous case of alleged disparate impact discrimination.

By now, many have heard of Judge Boyce F. Martin's ignominious departure from the Sixth Circuit bench. The former chief was forced into retirement after a travel expenses reimbursement scandal, one that ended with him agreeing to retire quietly and pay back all of his travel expenses, even those that were undisputed. Nonetheless, Chief Judge Alice Batchelder referred the case to the Justice Department, which decided against bringing charges.

It's been a dark end to a long and notable legal career. In his time on the bench, Martin wrote more than 1,500 opinions, including the first opinion upholding Obamacare, and more notably, the Sixth Circuit's take on Grutter v. Bollinger, an opinion that fractured the court and publicized the infighting in a series of concurrences and appendices.