Federal Law

The Fifth Circuit’s “Selective” Rule of Orderliness Opinion

Thompson v. Dallas City Attorney’s Office appears to present the first use, in the history of the federal judiciary, of both the words augurs and morphed in a circuit-court opinion. It also carefully reviews the vexing question of when an earlier Fifth Circuit opinion should not be followed, despite the “rule of orderliness,” because that opinion was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent when written.

The rule of orderliness may be “binding as the law of the Medes and Persians which altereth not,” but the United States Supreme Court, being supreme, makes all things mutable, even “our Holy Rule.”

Orderliness as a judicial goal commands adherence to Supreme Court precedent—particularly precedent about orderliness—not to circuit decisions disregarding that precedent.

JOLLY, E. GRADY

ELROD, JENNIFER W.

WILLETT, DON R.

Thompson v. Dallas City Attorney’s Office appears to present the first use, in the history of the federal judiciary, of both the words “augurs” and “morphed” in a circuit-court opinion.

It also carefully reviews the “vexing” question of when an earlier Fifth Circuit opinion should not be followed, despite the “rule of orderliness,” because that opinion was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent when written.

The Court found that Henson v. Columbus Bank & Trust Co., 651 F.2d 320 (5th Cir. 1981) was such a case, noting: prior Supreme Court precedent on the relevant res judicata question, which Henson did not address or even acknowledge; further Supreme Court precedent, issued soon after Henson, reaffirming the earlier opinion; consistent Fifth Circuit case law since Henson that did not apply it; and a paucity of citations to Henson.

In sum: “Orderliness, rightly understood, compels deference, not defiance. And disregarding on-point precedent in favor of an aberrational decision flouting that precedent is the antithesis of orderlinesss.”

Panel consisted of: JOLLY, ELROD & WILLETT

No. 17-10952 (Jan. 11, 2019). Opinion

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

Donate to LawsInTexas. Make a Difference.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

© 2020 Laws In Texas. | All Rights Reserved.

To Top