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

June 2011 Archives

6th Circuit says Obamacare is Constitutional

Obamacare news: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has made a decision in the Obamacare lawsuit, saying that Obamacare is constitutional.

The lawsuit, Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, challenged the concept of the individual mandate and argued that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause.

Rewind: The individual mandate, as discussed on this blog and FindLaw's Fourth Circuit Blog, is the rule that states that Americans must purchase a minimum level of health insurance, or else, be penalized with a monetary penalty.

1st Amendment and Tobacco Lawsuit in 6th Cir. Court of Appeals

Cigarette cartons might be looking like even more of a deterrent in the near future. However, the tobacco industry isn't letting the government scare their customers without a fight in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Earlier this week, United States health officials announced that they would be placing graphic images of dead bodies, decaying teeth and a man breathing through a hole in his neck on packs of cigarettes, reports Reuters.

These new regulations were slated to go into effect in October, 2012. But now, several tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard Tobacco Co have filed suit before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Cop Stop: 6th Circuit Amends Opinion to Address Open Container

When can a cop do a stop?

According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week, there are three types of permissible encounters with an officer. Last week, the Sixth Circuit issued an amendment to an October 2010 decision involving a motion to suppress evidence obtained from an illegal stop. The amendment includes some additional discussion by dissenters on the open container law in a case that involved an illegal stop.

But let's backtrack a bit and start at the beginning.

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Profile: Alice Batchelder

Chief Justice Alice Moor Batchelder of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was one of only six women in her graduating class at Akron University School of Law in 1971.

Now, she sits as the Chief Justice of a federal appeals court. And she might almost have been a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, once.

Batchelder came into the spotlight in 2005, as her name was thrown around as a potential replacement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

6th Cir. Allows Teacher Retaliation Lawsuit in School Bullying Case

A teacher from Rock Hill can have her retaliation lawsuit go forward, ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

This retaliation lawsuit was brought by the schoolteacher against a former superintendent, reports The Ironton Tribune. In addition to claims of retaliation, the teacher also brought claims of violation of free speech, which were dismissed by the lower courts.

The teacher, Joy McComas, spoke up to protect her daughter from school bullying and as a result, McComas claims she became a victim of bullying herself, by then-superintendent Lloyd Evans. The appeals court ruled, however, that much of McComas’ activities in support of her child did not fall under the heading of free speech.

6th Circuit Denies Appeal on Exculpatory Evidence Issue

In a June 8th appeal on the district court’s dismissal of a death row inmate’s habeas petition, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held in favor of the state and upheld the lower court decision dismissing the writ of habeas corpus.

Quick Facts:

The petitioner, Anthony Apanovitch, is an Ohio death-row inmate doing time for rape and murder. The only physical traces of the killer that were found at the scene of crime were certain bodily fluids found on the victim’s person. After a police investigation, he was indicted by a grand jury later that year.

Obamacare Debate: 6th Circuit Asks About Individual Madate

The Obamacare debate rages on. It's currently in front of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Many people follow the Obamacare debate, but it's a complicated issue and not always one that makes total sense, even to those following it. Last week, President Barack Obama's administration made some effort to defend the individual mandate. Unfortunately for them, their words got used against them.

The question of the individual mandate was brought up by Bush-appointed Judge Jeffrey Sutton. Before we get into the exchange between Sutton and Acting Solicitor General Neal Kumar Katyal, let's step back and talk about the individual mandate.

Religion in Prison: 6th Circuit Remands Case on RLUIPA

Where does the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals draw the line for freedom of religion in prison, when religious freedom involves allowing a violent offender to espouse religious views that perpetuate violence?

That’s a broad question and foreseeably, the question could touch on a number of religious philosophies and ideologies.

That’s why it’s such an important question. And interestingly, the First Amendment isn’t always the law of choice for prisoners who want to fight for their right to religious freedom.

Obamacare Lawsuits On Their Way to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

On June 1, 2011, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals joined the ranks of the 4th Circuit in taking on the Obamacare lawsuits, asking whether Obamacare is unconstitutional.

The oral argument was scheduled to take place at 1:30 before a 3-judge panel of the 6th Circuit. The three judges on the panel consist of two Republican appointed judges and one Democratic appointee: Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., a Carter appointee, Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, a George W. Bush appointee, and Judge James L. Graham, a Reagan appointee who is a senior federal district court judge sitting on the panel by designation.