Gerrymandering Suit

The Fifth Circuit ruled against four white voters who sued Dallas County, claiming its 2011 redistricting plan for electing county commissioners was racially discriminatory because it provided only one “Anglo-majority district.” The court found the plaintiffs could not prove the plan amounted to “racial gerrymandering.”

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Texas Terrorist Attack

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a case against the government brought by a security guard shot in the leg during a 2015 terrorist attack at the “First Annual Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas. The guard failed to prove that the actions of the FBI or its undercover agent rose to the level of “‘participating’ in an act of violence.

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Confederate Monuments

The Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a suit challenging the relocation of Confederate monuments from a San Antonio, Texas, park and the University of Texas campus in Austin, finding that the Sons of Confederate Veterans and two descendants of Confederate soldiers failed to claim a particularized injury.   

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Black Lives Matter Protest

The Fifth Circuit revived a police officer’s negligence claim against the organizer of a 2016 Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, finding that the organizer’s alleged conduct, including leading demonstrators onto the highway and provoking a violent confrontation with police, were the “but for” causes of the officer’s injuries. 

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Intergalactic Foreign Trade

The Fifth Circuit dismissed as frivolous a lawyer’s claims brought on behalf of the “Atakapa Indian de Creole Nation” that Louisiana and the federal government have “monopolized ‘intergalactic foreign trade.’” A lower court dismissed the claims based on sovereign immunity but the circuit court ruled it “need not go that far” to resolve the appeal.

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Voter Registration

The Fifth Circuit ruled that the Texas Department of Public Safety’s voter registration system does not violate the Equal Protection Clause or the National Voter Registration Act. Individuals using the department’s online system to renew their driver’s license or change their address are prompted to request a paper voter application that they must mail in. 

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Study: Obamacare Repeal Would Widen Economic Divide

With the legal battle over the Affordable Care Act now before a federal appeals court, a new study says repealing the law would deepen the divide between the have and have-nots: Wealthy Americans would receive billions in tax cuts, while poor people would lose their health insurance subsidies.

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