U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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Not making the varsity squad for any high schooler can be tough. But when that high schooler's mom files a federal lawsuit over it ... that's just unbelievable.

But believe it or not, that's just what happened at St. Louis' Ladue High School when one junior didn't make the varsity soccer team, and then was also excluded from the junior varsity team. While this might seem to defy ordinary logic, the school pointed to an established policy, but then the mother pointed to Title IX. The school didn't agree with the parent, and a lawsuit followed.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling in the matter over the state of Missouri's regulations for abortion clinics. And unfortunately for the challengers who succeeded in obtaining an injunction at the federal district court level, the appellate court didn't quite see it the same way.

The court found that the challengers hadn't actually established a sufficient injury or irreparable harm to qualify for the injunction. This was due to the fact that the state regulations allow for variances to exempt requesting clinics from certain parts of the regulations, and none of the challengers had applied for the variance and been denied.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a rather short decision dismissing a challenge brought by the Satanic Temple and a Mary Doe plaintiff against the state of Missouri's abortion laws requiring certain prerequisites.

If you had to read that a couple times because of the inclusion of the Satanic Temple (not to be confused with the Church of Satan), you're probably not alone. The group doesn't worship the devil, at least not seriously, but it does fight for social justice causes, particularly those that relate to or are founded upon religious beliefs. Unfortunately for the group and Mary Doe plaintiff, the Eighth Circuit agreed with the lower district court that the temple and Doe lacked standing due to a biological/legal technicality.

Kindergarten Shoot-Up Joker Wins Appeal

It wasn't funny when James Ross made a satirical Facebook post about shooting kindergarten students.

It also wasn't funny when Jackson police officers arrested him. He sued, and the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said he has a case.

In Ross v. City of Jackson, the appeals court said the police should have known it was just a bad joke.

Leaving only one last avenue for recourse to Gage County, the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an en banc rehearing on the county's failed appeal of the $28 million judgment in the Beatrice Six civil case.

The Beatrice Six case is one of the biggest DNA, wrongful conviction exonerations in history. That's because the DNA evidence of a murder that took place decades ago was used to free six individuals that were wrongfully convicted. The story of their conviction and their exoneration is absolutely the stuff of TV drama, and sadly for the all the victims, a hot topic among the locals in Nebraska.

The civil rights case of Arkansas judge Wendell Griffen against the Arkansas Supreme Court, and each of its members, was just dismissed by a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Griffen's case is a fascinating one, as he is an outspoken advocate against the death penalty and the state's high court barred him from hearing death penalty cases due to his alleged bias, and in accordance with the state's judicial ethics. And while that may seem extreme, not only has Judge Griffen blogged about his views against the death penalty, he participated in a protest where he laid down on a gurney in front of the governor's mansion while wearing an anti-death penalty button.

Court Upholds $28 Million Award for 'Beatrice Six'

DNA evidence can cut both ways -- for conviction or exoneration.

In one Nebraska case, it cut deep for exoneration. Six defendants were wrongfully imprisoned for another man's crime before DNA evidence freed them.

But the "Beatrice Six" got their payback when a trial court handed them a $28 million judgment against a small Nebraska County. The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said it was an "obvious case" and affirmed in Dean v. Searcey.

Plaintiff's Burden Raised in ADA Case Against Liquor Store

A little paint goes a long way in remodeling and also in ADA compliance.

According to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, a liquor store did enough to comply with federal disability requirements by painting a van-accessible parking spot and putting up a sign. In fact, it was moot by the time the case got to trial because the owner had already fixed the parking problem.

But there was still a problem with the service counter, which was too high for the wheelchair-bound plaintiff. The burden, however, was on him in Wright v. RL Liquor.

In what must ring out as a hollow victory for Iowa State University, a federal district court has dismissed a Title IX case alleging the institution took too long to investigate a sexual assault incident back in March 2014. The delay allegedly resulted in the student victim experiencing a deprivation of educational opportunity.

The University's issued the following statement:

For African-style hair braiders in the state of Missouri, the recent Eighth Circuit decision striking down the challenge to the state's licensing requirement means that more work is going to be needed.

While hair braiders do not cut hair, the court and state believe that what they do squarely falls within the state's legal definition of a barber or cosmetologist. In supporting the need for hair braiders to be licensed as barbers or cosmetologists, the state relied on consumer protection and health risks, including inflammation, infection, and hair loss.