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

February 2016 Archives

Texas's highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, dismissed abuse of power charges against former Governor Rick Perry on Wednesday, bringing to an end a long-running battle over Perry's actions while in office.

A grand jury had indicted Perry in 2014, charging him with abusing the power of the governor's office by pressuring a state district attorney to step down and vetoing financing for the anti-corruption office she helmed.

Who Acts as Circuit Justice for the 5th Until Scalia Is Replaced?

Each of the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals has one of the nine Supreme Court Justices assigned to handle procedural matters for that circuit. In the case of the late Justice Scalia, that was the Fifth Circuit, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

But now that he's passed away, who will act as circuit justice?

Mentally Disabled Inmate Escapes Death Penalty Under 5th Cir. Ruling

An intellectually disabled man successfully proved that he was intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution by the State of Louisiana. It's been a long voyage through the courts, but unless Louisiana would like to take this up to SCOTUS for a second time, it looks like Mr. Brumfield has escaped state administered death.

Fed Agent's Lies About Affair Tolls Statute of Limitations: 5th Cir.

The Fifth Circuit decided to err on the side of equity and toll a statute of limitations in favor of a corporation originally indicted for illegal storage of ultra-hazardous materials. According to the circuit court, the state failed to prove that the company definitely would have discovered that it was injured and how was injured.

And what was the supposed cause that exploded into this protracted debacle? A federal agent's perjuring himself over an extra-marital affair.

Contractor Doctors Can Sue Under 1973 Rehab Act

Further complicating the growing conflict over employees and contractors, the Fifth Circuit recently declared that independent contractors can sue "any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance" on discrimination suits.

According to this circuit, Section 504 (The Rehabilitation Act of 1973) does not adopt the definition of who is covered under Title I even though it may be influenced by that law.