Soldier’s Shootings

The Fifth Circuit upheld a ruling against the families of three victims fatally shot in 2015 by a soldier stationed at Fort Hood. The families claimed the government was liable for Army employees’ negligent performance under three regulations, which were triggered by a report about a domestic violence incident involving the shooter and his wife. The families cannot show that the harm to the shooter’s wife and neighbors was “foreseeable to the Army,” the court ruled.

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Police Shooting

A family’s suit against an Austin, Texas, police officer who shot and killed their son, who was suicidal and experiencing a mental-health crisis at the time of his death, can proceed, the Fifth Circuit ruled, finding that by 2017, it was “clearly established — and possibly even obvious — that an officer violates the Fourth Amendment if he shoots an unarmed, incapacitated suspect who is moving away from everyone present at the scene.”

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Children’s Toys

The Fifth Circuit ruled the Consumer Product Safety Commission procedurally erred when it issued its final rule prohibiting the manufacture and sale of any children’s toy or article that has more than 0.1% of any one of five phthalates, which can have negative health effects. However, the court remanded the case, finding there is a “serious possibility” the agency can substantiate its decision if given the opportunity.

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Panel Hears Case of Citizen Journalist Charged for Publishing Names of Dead

A panel of Fifth Circuit judges heard arguments related to the First Amendment on Wednesday in the case of a popular citizen journalist in Texas who was arrested for putting the names of two deceased people on social media before they were made public by authorities.

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Judge’s Comments

The Fifth Circuit reassigned a professor’s cases, in which she alleges that Sam Houston State University retaliated against her for making discrimination complaints, to a different judge in the Southern District of Texas. The judge presiding over her cases in the federal district court made prejudicial comments, saying he would “crush” the professor’s counsel in response to their opposition to consolidating her two cases.

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Police Beating

Two Gretna, Louisiana, police officers who beat and tased an unarmed man with paranoid schizophrenia — who became unresponsive and died two days later — are not entitled to qualified immunity on excessive force claims, the Fifth Circuit ruled. The man, who was not suspected of any crime, was curled in a fetal position and did not struggle against the officers, called for his mother and pleaded for someone to “call the real police” as he sustained 26 blunt-force injuries.

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Huawei Challenges FCC Security Risk Label at Fifth Circuit

An attorney for Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei told a Fifth Circuit panel Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission was wrong to label the company as a national security threat because it has no standards to make such a determination.

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