U.S. Sixth Circuit: July 2011 Archives
U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

July 2011 Archives

Five Things to Know About Practicing Before the Sixth Circuit

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Today's offering: five things to know about practicing before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Guidelines Not Binding: Pre-Spears Claim Helps Vacate Sentence

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a Sentencing Guidelines-conforming drug sentence today in USA v. Priester on "the admittedly unfair ground" of the district court's "insufficient clairvoyance."

Here are the facts in a nutshell. The appellant, Xavier Priester, pled guilty to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana. At sentencing, Priester's lawyer argued that the Guidelines' 100:1 or greater ratio between crack and powder penalties was unfair and asked the district court to ignore it in favor of a "sufficient and just sentence." The district court indicated that it had to stick to the guidelines, and sentenced Priester to 180 months' imprisonment.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of Obamacare. That is, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was constitutional.

Now, this decision might not hold up, seeing as how there are healthcare lawsuits across the nation in various district courts. If conflicting decisions come out, then there will most likely be review by the United States Supreme Court regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and whether it was enacted under a proper use of the government's power to tax for the general welfare.

The debate on the use of affirmative action in college admissions has been in the news again and is likely poised for Supreme Court review once again.

According to CNN, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that certain affirmative action based factors considered in university admissions were permissible. Or, more specifically, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Proposal 2, a 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment ban on the use of race or gender in the university admissions process.

The Sixth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a decision involving a writ of habeas corpus of a man who was sentenced for murder by the State of Kentucky.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a judgment based upon claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The defendant-petitioner claimed that the prosecution had committed misconduct during their closing arguments.