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

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The Sixth Circuit's Judge Damon J. Keith has served on the bench since 1967, and on the Sixth Circuit for four decades, but the 94-year-old jurist isn't exactly a household name. That may be changing soon, though.

A new documentary, "Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith" seeks to introduce Judge Keith to a wider audience, while exploring his work as a judge and a civil rights leader.

Here's some good news for legal professionals in Michigan: FindLaw just launched its new Michigan Compiled Laws and Constitution section, bringing you the best source for Michigan laws this side of Great Lakes.

So if you're looking for information on anything from Michigan's social services laws to its rules for coroners, FindLaw has you covered -- for free.

Buck up, Buckeye lawyers! If you're looking for codes in the great state of Ohio, FindLaw has you covered. The world's number one legal website (that's us!) is now offering Ohio's revised code and constitution online, mobile-friendly, and entirely free.

So, if you need to know about laws governing beehives in Canton, or mortgages in Cincinnati, or Columbus Day in Columbus, we've got you covered.

Wayne State University is not a 'person' for purposes of the False Claims Act, which imposes liability on individuals and businesses who defraud the federal government. Further, the school is entitled to sovereign immunity, and protected from FCA whistleblower lawsuits, as an "arm of the state" under the Eleventh Amendment.

Those are the holdings of a recent Sixth Circuit opinion which adopted the "arm of the state" test for FCA claims -- and tossed a Wayne State assistant professor's whistleblower suit in the process.

Kwame Kilpatrick, the former mayor of Detroit convicted of fraud and racketeering, is taking his case to the Supremes. Not Motown hero Diana Ross, but the Supreme Court. Kilpatrick is currently asking the High Court to hear his case after the Sixth Circuit upheld his conviction in August and rejected his petition for en banc review.

Kilpatrick's tenure as mayor was long plagued by scandal, including accusations that he held wild parties in the major's mansion and even covered up the murder of an exotic dancer. It was much more quotidian corruption that landed him with a 28 year jail sentence, however, after the government accused him of extorting money from government contractors.

The EPA will not be allowed to enforce its Clean Water Rule after the Sixth Circuit issued an order to stay the rule on Friday. The new rule sought to clarify which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, something which has proven surprisingly difficult in the past. Eighteen states sued to stop the rule, leading to the Sixth Circuit's order, which applies nationwide.

The Clean Water Rule seeks to extend pollution protections, and EPA jurisdiction, to bodies of water such as streams and wetlands. It faces opposition from politicians and business interests who viewed the new rule as regulatory overreach.

6th Cir. SCOTUS Grants (So Far): Prison, Securities, Retirement

So far, the Supreme Court has granted only three petitions from the Sixth Circuit, on issues as varied as prisoner litigation and securities law. Many more petitions are waiting in the wings, including same-sex marriage, the Amish beard-cutter, and limiting hours for early voting.

For now, though, Sixth Circuit watchers will have to tide themselves over with these three cases:

Probably 4 More Years of Ohio Gov. Kasich, as FitzGerald Blunders

For a while, it looked like Ohio Gov. John Kasich wasn't going to be re-elected. Kasich was the same type of staunch Republican as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But where Walker succeeded, Kasich failed. Voters harshly rebuked a Kasich-endorsed state senate bill that would have limited public employees' collective bargaining rights.

In 2012, toeing the party line with other Republican governors, Kasich said the state wouldn't be implementing a state health insurance exchange. But months later, he changed his mind, declaring Ohio would have a state exchange after all.

Was Boyce Martin a Victim of 6th Cir. Judicial Infighting?

By now, many have heard of Judge Boyce F. Martin's ignominious departure from the Sixth Circuit bench. The former chief was forced into retirement after a travel expenses reimbursement scandal, one that ended with him agreeing to retire quietly and pay back all of his travel expenses, even those that were undisputed. Nonetheless, Chief Judge Alice Batchelder referred the case to the Justice Department, which decided against bringing charges.

It's been a dark end to a long and notable legal career. In his time on the bench, Martin wrote more than 1,500 opinions, including the first opinion upholding Obamacare, and more notably, the Sixth Circuit's take on Grutter v. Bollinger, an opinion that fractured the court and publicized the infighting in a series of concurrences and appendices.

Cupid Loves the ABA's 6th Cir. Law Student Pro Bono Competition

This Valentine's Day, show some love for your community: pay it forward. Gunner law students in the Sixth Circuit can get into the spirit of generosity by participating in a pro bono competition.

Law students are often so wrapped up in their classes and job prospects that they often don't realize how much pleasure and fulfillment they can find from doing pro bono work. Take it from Dana Tapper, a then-law student recognized by Ellen DeGeneres for her commitment to public service.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the ABA's Sixth Circuit Law Student Division's Pro Bono Competition: