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


Ohio Abortion Clinics Win Battle Over Withheld Funds

In an ongoing battle over abortion, a federal appeals court said Ohio unconstitutionally withheld funds from abortion clinics for unrelated services.

In Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio v. Himes, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a permanent injunction against a state law that revoked funding from abortion providers. They had long received funds to fight breast cancer, sexual violence, and other problems.

When the legislature tried to cut off those funds, the courts intervened. Basically, lawmakers were mixing apples and oranges with their cuts.

They had nothing on Michael Taylor Gardner without his cell phone.

That was his argument anyway, saying police shouldn't have searched his cell phone without his permission. But the judge didn't buy it, and he was convicted of trafficking a minor for sex and producing child pornography.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, mostly because Gardner gave his cell phone to a 17-year-old girl and she gave it to the cops. United States of America v. Michael Taylor Garnder is another case that shows that a cell phone can be dangerous.

ACLU Sues to Block Kentucky's New Abortion Law

A recurring battle over a controversial abortion procedure is headed back to court, this time in Kentucky.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued to stop a law there that bans a procedure known as "dilation and evacuation." Anti-abortion activists call the second-trimester surgery "dismemberment abortion."

Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have passed similar bans on the practice, but the courts have struck them down. The ACLU says the Kentucky law is "shameless, insulting and dangerous."

CVS Sued for Revealing HIV Status of 6,000 Customers

If you are going to CVS for aspirin, just know the company has a big headache of its own.

According to a new lawsuit, CVS Health mailed 6,000 letters in envelopes that showed the recipients' HIV status on the outside. If you live in Ohio, you might want to double-check your mail.

That's the problem with those window envelopes. You never know what's going to peek through.

A funeral home in Michigan is learning one legal truth on appeal, or as the undertaker might colloquially say, postmortem: Transgender employees are protected from discrimination under Title VII.

Fortunately, no employees were murdered in the making of this appeal, but, according to a three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, one was certainly discriminated against. Aimee Stephens sued her former employer, RG and GR Harris Funeral Homes, for firing her after she started to transition from male to female. In addition to the discriminatory termination, Stephens also alleged that a wardrobe allowance that was only provided to male employees constituted additional gender discrimination.

Letting anyone sign your name to anything without at least a cursory review is inviting trouble. Just ask the semi-retired lawyer who's now facing a 90-day suspension for a secretary at his firm basically using his name on boilerplate forms, without his review, in social security administration cases.

And while the bulk of the practice consisted of submitting form pleadings to the court without much care or attention, in one of those case, the court found the legal work so deficient it ordered the attorney to personally deliver a copy of the court's order to the client and instruct the client to carefully read the order. That order called the attorney incompetent. Somehow, another attorney at the firm decided it would be a good idea for them to sign the other attorney's name and do the delivering.

There is certain to be some pushback to any new law that restricts activity on the World Wide Web. Sometimes, thanks to the web the internet has woven, unlikely allies can unite to fight a common cause. And when Ohio passed its recent internet harassment law, an unlikely duo from across the partisan aisles joined forces to challenge it.

Although the challenge seems to make logical sense, it appears to suffer from some procedural defects. According to the federal district court in Ohio, the challenge had to be dismissed on the 12(b)1 subject matter jurisdiction challenge for lack of standing. The decision, in large part, rests upon the fact that neither challenger has faced actual consequences, nor suffered an actual injury, as a result of the new law.

When Memphis Light, Gas and Water denied one of their own in house attorney's request for a reasonable accommodation to work from home during a period of temporary disability related to a pregnancy, the public utility likely didn't think they'd get sued. It's not like lawyers are a very litigious bunch... oh wait... .

When it comes to denying an employee a reasonable accommodation, employers should take heed and learn the lesson the Memphis utility is learning the hard way (after losing their Sixth Circuit appeal): if the accommodation is objectively reasonable, it should be granted despite a boss's subjective beliefs.

Court Strikes Tennessee's Liquor License Requirement

Jack Daniel may have to make room at the bar, following an appeals court ruling.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that Tennessee's liquor license requirement unlawfully discriminates against out-of-towners. The two-year residency requirement is unconstitutional, the court said in Byrd v. Tennessee Wine and Spirits Association.

That was good news for two companies that sued to do business in the state. For Jack Daniel's whiskey or Tennessee bourbon, not so much.

Child Abuse Case: Does Medical Testing Violate 4th Amendment?

Luke Burley was 19 days old when his father took him to the emergency department.

The baby's head was swelling from multiple skull fractures. He must have been injured when he rolled off the sofa and fell on the carpet ten days earlier, the parents said.

After doctors treated the infant and reported possible child abuse, the father and other parents sued in Thomas v. Nationwide Children's Hospital. What is wrong with these people?