Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fifth Circuit Issues Proposed En Banc Rule, Addressing Previous Kerfuffle

Remember the kerfuffle last year when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted en banc review in a global warming case, lost its quorum, and then reinstated the district court decision, sending the original Fifth Circuit panel decision, which had reversed the district court, into the ether?

The Fifth Circuit has issued a proposed rule amendment that outlines a different course for the future (comments due by July 25, 2011).  Under the proposed rule: "If, after voting a case en banc, the court lacks a quorum to act on the case for 30 consecutive days, the case is automatically returned to the panel, the panel opinion is reinstated as an unpublished (and hence nonprecedential) opinion, and the mandate is released."