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

November 2013 Archives

DOJ Not Wavering in La. School Voucher Case

A Louisiana federal court heard oral arguments in the case for enjoining the state's school voucher program on Friday, despite rumors that the DOJ had given up the case.

Last week, various media sources reported the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had dropped its desegregation suit against the state of Louisiana's voucher program, fueled by Governor Bobby Jindal's statements that the DOJ had "abandoned" its suit, NOLA.com reports.

The confusion comes from a November 18 court order confirming the government's dropped request to permanently enjoin the state's voucher program, seeking instead to monitor and share information through the court.

Supreme Court Leaves Texas Abortion Laws in Effect

The Supreme Court decided Tuesday to deny an appeal to block enforcement of Texas abortion laws, allowing the laws to remain in effect while the Fifth Circuit hears arguments to their validity.

The Associated Press reports that the High Court made a 5-4 decision to allow the state to continue enforcing the controversial abortion laws, including the provision requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Justice Breyer, writing in dissent, believes the issue will return to the Court again once the Fifth Circuit makes its decision.

Mexican Law Determines Man's U.S. Citizenship

A man who long battled to have his citizenship recognized has finally won in the Fifth Circuit, with the court finding citizenship through his father under Mexican law.

In Saldana Iracheta v. Holder, the Fifth Circuit was called upon to review an order for reinstating an order for removal, one that had been reinstated many times as Saldana had returned over and over to the U.S. from Mexico. However, the Court took the opportunity to review Saldana's claim of U.S. citizenship and lo and behold, found he was a citizen after all!

How did Mexican law convince the Fifth Circuit to come to this conclusion?

UT Affirmative Action Case Back Before 5th Cir.

After SCOTUS punted on affirmative action in Fisher v. Texas, the case over UT's admissions decisions was back in front of the Fifth Circuit.

Texas Public Radio reports that the Fifth Circuit heard arguments Wednesday over questions left unanswered by the U.S. Supreme Court, like whether UT's admissions policy validly used race as a factor.

At this point Abigail Fisher has already received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University (LSU), so is this a winning fight?

Texas Confederate Flag License Plate Denial Before 5th Cir.

Proponents of a Confederate flag license plate for Texas drivers brought their case before the Fifth Circuit last week, hoping to renew their fight against the DMV which denied the controversial plate.

According to The Associated Press, the Sons of Confederate Veterans renewed the fight in a case they had brought against the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in 2011 for rejecting their proposal to place a Confederate flag symbol on a "specialty plate."

Is this really a case of rights being trampled?

Texas Sues EEOC to Keep Felons Out of Jobs

Texas filed suit on Monday over the right of Texas state employers to absolutely bar the hiring of felons that would be stymied by the EEOC's guidelines.

According to the Dallas Business Journal, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit in federal court challenging the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's enforcement guidelines which recommend that absolute bans on hiring felons run afoul of Title VII.

Does Abbott have a case here, or is this just an issue to ride in his race against Wendy Davis for the Texas governorship?

BP Wants Settlement Thrown Out Over Class Action Rules

BP argued before the Fifth Circuit on Monday that the settlement of its private claims related to the Deepwater Horizon spill should be thrown out for allowing claims that are too attenuated.

According to The Times-Picayune, British Petroleum's (BP's) attorneys argued before a three-judge panel that the settlement rules approved by the district court violated Federal Rule 23 by allowing businesses to recover without proving losses were directly caused by the spill.

This isn't the first time that BP has come crying to the Fifth Circuit about the huge settlement amounts they will owe to Gulf-area businesses, but do they have a point this time?

Texas Abortion Law Unblocked by 5th Circuit

An injunction against Texas' abortion law was removed by the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, allowing the law which threatens to shutter many of the state's abortion clinics to go into effect.

According to The New York Times, the three-judge panel unanimously decided that the Texas abortion law, enforcement of which was on emergency appeal from Monday's district court decision, found that the "admitting privileges" provision was likely to be found constitutional, reversing the lower court's decision.