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Late May Wrap-up: Another First Opinion, Another En Banc, Another Cert Grant

Note — This post (plus many others) arrives thanks to the hard work of Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog intern extraordinaire Barrett Block, a rising 3L at UK Law.  Murphy’s (first) Law — Jurisdiction is often the first topic encountered by law students; fittingly, Judge Eric Murphy confronted it in his first published opinion as a Sixth … Continue Reading

Last Week at the 6th Circuit: Substantive unreasonableness, maiden voyages, and railroaded state law

No arguments at the court last week, but we received 13 published opinions and 9 unpublished opinions. Plus, as we’ll discuss later this week, one white-hot denial from en banc review that produced four separate opinions. Here’s what you may have missed: A substantively unreasonable sentence – A divided Sixth Circuit panel vacated the sentence … Continue Reading

Last week at the Sixth Circuit: Suspended licenses, (Dis)honor Codes, and Re-redistricting

Showing no signs of a Kentucky Derby hangover (or any follow-on litigation, at least not yet), last week the court wrapped up arguments during the second half of its May sitting. Your quick recap: A rational basis for suspended licenses – In a blow to con-law professors and indigent drivers, a divided panel held in … Continue Reading

Trail-Blazing Sixth Circuit Judge Damon Keith Dies at 96

Sixth Circuit Judge Damon J. Keith died this weekend at the age of 96.  He served on the Sixth Circuit for over 40 years.  A civil rights icon, he issued notable opinions addressing racial desegregation in public education, warrantless Nixon-era wiretaps, and blanket secrecy for deportation hearings of terrorism suspects after 9/11.  In remembrance, the … Continue Reading

Trends in the Sixth Circuit – A Substantial Increase In Written Decisions

Recently we discussed academic criticism claiming that circuit courts may respond to increased caseload pressure by spending less time per case or lengthening the appeals process.  We found evidence suggesting that this is not occurring at the Sixth Circuit.  One interesting side note that our analysis showed is that the percentage of written decisions has … Continue Reading

“The Learned Sixth” – Sixth Circuit Judges Busy Speaking and Writing

When welcoming his (many) new colleagues, Judge Sutton has sometimes mentioned his court’s long-lost nickname: “The Learned Sixth.” Many of its earliest judges—Taft, Day, Lurton, Howell Jackson—served as diplomats or law school deans, cooled their heels at the Sixth Circuit, and proceeded to the Supreme Court. Is the Sixth Circuit recovering its name and reputation? … Continue Reading

Who is Justice Joan Larsen?

In May 2017, Justice Joan Larsen was nominated to the Sixth Circuit seat being vacated by Judge David McKeague. Both of Michigan’s democratic senators returned blue slips supporting her appointment in August. The Senate Judiciary Committee favorably reported Justice Larsen’s nomination to the full Senate earlier this month, and yesterday Senator Mitch McConnell filed in … Continue Reading

Appellate Courts and Caseload Pressure

An interesting paper has been making the rounds discussing how appellate courts react to caseload pressure.  After September 11, 2001, the Second and Ninth Circuits had a large influx of immigration appeals that affect the other circuits, and the paper uses this as a “natural experiment.”   In his paper, Mr. Shay Lavie characterizes the Second Circuit … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Continues Trend of Limiting Information That May Be Filed Under Seal

Recently, in an unpublished decision, the Sixth Circuit illustrated that it was continuing last year’s trend in holding that district courts should allow parties to seal records only when compelling justifications exist. Danley v. Encore Capital Grp., Inc., No. 16-1670, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3388 (6th Cir. Feb. 22, 2017).  As you may recall, the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Labor Cases

Labor law and regulation has recently been a contentious topic of litigation and policymaking. That promises to continue through 2017, and we expect the Sixth Circuit to issue important decisions in this area. The Trump administration has pledged to loosen regulation on labor markets while, at the same time, making several public displays of reconciliation … Continue Reading

Judge Boggs Takes Senior Status

Judge Danny J. Boggs recently took senior status, creating a second vacancy on the Sixth Circuit. Judge Boggs has served the Court for over 30 years, including as Chief Judge, and he was appointed by President Reagan. Recent press reports highlight Judge Boggs’ career and accomplishments. But perhaps Judge Boggs is most famous for the … Continue Reading

THE ELECTION’S IMPACT ON THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

While many people are evaluating the election’s impact on the Supreme Court, closer to home, President-Elect Trump will have a seat to fill at the Sixth Circuit. As we reported, President Obama nominated Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes for the Sixth Circuit vacancy created by Judge Martin’s retirement. The Sixth Circuit seats are … Continue Reading

JUDGE BOGGS CELEBRATES 30 YEARS ON THE BENCH

Chief Justice John Roberts recently sent Judge Danny Boggs a letter congratulating him on 30 years of service as a Sixth Circuit judge.  Judge Boggs is the longest-serving active Sixth Circuit judge.  Next in seniority comes Judge Alice Batchelder, who will reach 25 years of service in December.  The longest judges currently serving are Senior … Continue Reading

SIXTH CIRCUIT UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE

The Sixth Circuit has recently released a link to the new website that it will launch on June 27, 2016.   The new website is based on a national model template for federal court websites, which some courts are already currently using. For example, the Seventh Circuit already uses this format. The new format promises to … Continue Reading

SCOTUS: Dismissal of Claim Under FTCA “Exceptions” Does Not Bar Second Suit

The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Sixth Circuit yesterday in Simmons v. Himmelreich, holding that the Federal Tort Claims Act’s “judgment bar” provision does not apply to claims that are dismissed under the “Exceptions” provision of the FTCA.  The FTCA permits plaintiffs to sue the federal government for certain torts committed by government employees.  But … Continue Reading

Judge Jones Publishes An Autobiography

In his new memoir, Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America, former Sixth Circuit Judge Nathaniel R. Jones recounts his long history fighting for racial equality.  Judge Jones was the first African American assistant U.S. attorney, was the general counsel of the NAACP, and served for 23 … Continue Reading
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