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


The Flint water crisis is likely to be remembered as one of the worst public disasters caused by a local government in the state of Michigan's history.

And while several lawsuits have been filed, one recently made it back from the Sixth Circuit with bad news for several of the government officials named as defendants. The appellate court affirmed the lower court's ruling that certain officials and the state were not immune, but it also reversed the holding in favor of some other officials.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

A federal judge in Detroit dismissed charges against doctors and others for female genital mutilations, saying a federal ban against the procedure was unconstitutional.

Judge Bernard Friedman said Congress "overstepped its bounds" by enacting a 1996 statute that prohibited the practice. Friedman said it is a matter for the states, and the federal government did not have authority as it claimed under the Commerce Clause.

Defendants still face other charges, but not for mutilating the nine girls in the case. That's because Michigan didn't criminalize their acts until after the fact.

Man Convicted of Terrorism for Michigan Airport Knife Attack

Jean Reno has acted in movies about assassins, killers, and spies -- and sometimes died in those roles.

So it was a surprise to see a real-life mug shot of a terrorist who looked just like him. That's about where the similarities end.

Amor Ftouhi, 53, has been convicted of stabbing a police officer in a terrorist act. Despite a death wish, however, it looks like this terrorist won't die.

Tennessee Must Stop Suspending Driver's Licenses of People Who Can't Pay

Most people come face-to-face with the law through traffic court.

In Tennessee, about 291,000 may see an about-face in their traffic cases. A trial judge has ruled the state can no longer revoke drivers licenses of people who cannot afford to pay their fines.

Judge Aleta Trauger has enjoined officials from enforcing license revocation laws. She also opened the door for hundreds of thousands of drivers to get their licenses back.

Police Can't Shoot Unlicensed Dogs During Search

Pet owners may sue police who shot and killed their dogs during a home search, a federal appeals court said.

In Smith v. City of Detroit, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said police acted unreasonably when they shot two pit bulls and a Rottweiler. A divided panel reversed a trial judge who said the owners had no right to sue because their dogs were unlicensed.

The issue revolves around whether pet owners have a possessory interest in unlicensed animals under the Fourth Amendment. But Detroit has a bigger dog problem -- there are about 50,000 strays roaming its streets.

'Street Outlaw Memphis' Reality Show Sued Over On-Set Brawl

It's hard to know what's real and what's not on reality television -- even for lawyers.

But two Nashville attorneys say their clients really got beat up on "Street Outlaws: Memphis." The show, which airs on the Discovery Channel, pits street racers against each other.

In one episode last February, however, the street race turned into a street fight.

When leaving work for the day, most workers don't have to worry about security screenings to make sure they didn't steal something. However, for Amazon warehouse workers, not only are they required to undergo security screenings before being allowed to leave, those screenings are unpaid.

What's worse, due to the large number of warehouse employees, there are often long lines that can take over 20 minutes to get through. And as you might have already known, a putative class action was filed, and there is multidistrict federal litigation ongoing over this issue. Most recently, the Sixth Circuit opined that workers in Nevada were entitled to compensation for these security checks, while workers in Arizona were not.

Trump Cleared in Rally Violence Lawsuit

With legal troubles hanging overhead, President Trump got some good news in one case.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit that alleged he incited a riot when he had protesters forcibly removed from a campaign rally. In Nwanguma v. Trump, the appeals court said Trump's call to "get 'em out of here" was protected by the First Amendment.

Trump must be happy about the respite from litigation. The last thing he needed was another adverse judgment.

Court Turns Down Age Discrimination Claim, Cites Performance

Getting older can be tough, especially when you lose a job based on your age.

That's what Ramona DeBra said happened at JPMorgan, where she was a teller. As she neared 60, the Michigan branch let her go.

Unfortunately in DeBra v. JPMorgan Chase & Company, it got worse for her. According to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, her age wasn't the reason she was fired.

The redistricting/gerrymandering case going on in the state of Michigan just got a whole lot more complicated. That's because the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed eight Republican Congress members to intervene in the League of Women Voter's lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State.

The lawsuit alleges that after the 2010 U.S. census, Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally redrew the districts to their advantage.