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Judicial Reform Fifth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals: 5th Circuit

Leans Pro Freedom
Total Judgeships: 

17 (2 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

5 Dem – 10 GOP

New Orleans, Louisiana, Fort Worth, Texas, Jackson, Mississippi
Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas


About The Court:

The Fifth Circuit Court was established on June 16, 1891 and is known for its history of involvement in crucial civil rights decisions in the 1960’s. On June 25, 1948, the Panama Canal Zone was added to the Fifth Circuit, and on March 31, 1982, the Court lost jurisdiction as the Canal Zone transferred to Panamanian control.


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Student Forced to Transfer Schools

Thu, 05/29/2014

Janet Robinson v. St. Tammany Parish Public School System, et al.: After her daughter was accused of sexual misconduct on a school bus, the school board ordered Robinson’s daughter to be transferred to a different high school for three months. Robinson filed suit stating that the transfer led rumors to be created and conclusions to be drawn about her daughter’s actions, causing emotional distress. The District Court determined that since the daughter was transferred, not suspended, that no defamation occurred and the daughter still needs to be transferred.


The Fifth Circuit Court affirmed the decision and determined that Robinson’s daughter will be transferred to a new school for three months. The Court stated that Robinson presented no authority over her claims because she filed suit over a year after the incident took place and therefore supported the decision of summary judgment against Robinson and her daughter.

Read the full decision here

Adequate Healthcare Not Given Behind Bars

Wed, 05/28/2014

Cynthia Cardenas, et al. v. Lee County, Texas: A few days after Cesar was taken into custody, he had multiple incidents where he became ill. The prison guard took his vitals and told his co-workers to keep an eye on Cesar. The next morning, Cesar was proclaimed dead in his cell. Cynthia Cardenas filed suit arguing Cesar’s constitutional rights were violated because he did not receive adequate medical care as an inmate. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Lee County, blaming the prison guard's judgement, not the County for the lack of care.


The Fifth Circuit Court affirmed the decision, thereby supporting the summary judgment in favor of the County. The Court states that Cardenas did not provide adequate grounds to prove that the Country acted deliberately indifferent to the medical needs of her husband, Cesar, during his imprisonment and therefore Cesar was not deprived of treatment due to County policy.

Read the full decision here

The Good Samaritan Wins

Mon, 05/12/2014

Alfonso, IV v. United States: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Plaintiff filed suit against the Louisiana national guardsmen stating for alleged negligence in the care they provided/services they rendered during the crisis. The District Court, referencing the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act grants immunity to the guardsmen because they were acting in the shoes of private individuals engaged in emergency-preparedness activities.


The Fifth Circuit Court affirmed the decision, granting immunity to the guardsmen who acted in their best capacity to help the individuals in need during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Read the full decision here