I would be remiss if I didn’t yield this space to someone who said all that needs to be said better than any post I could compose – and with that I yield to TBA and A miscarriage of justice:
Carefully timed for late Friday release on Memorial Day Weekend is the Fifth Circuit’s unbelievable decision in Comer v. Murphy Oil, the “global warming caused Katrina” case that, rather surprisingly, obtained a panel decision reversing the district court’s motion to dismiss. We had previously noted the case’s going en banc, with only 9 judges hearing the case and 7 recused.
Well, since that time, another judge has found it necessary to recuse, depriving the en banc court of a quorum to hear the case. What’s the result? The appeal is dismissed!
In sum, a court without a quorum cannot conduct judicial business. This court has no quorum. This court declares that because it has no quorum it cannot conduct judicial business with respect to this appeal. This court, lacking a quorum, certainly has no authority to disregard or to rewrite the established rules of this court. There is no rule that gives this court authority to reinstate the panel opinion, which has been vacated. Consequently, there is no opinion or judgment in this case upon which any mandate may issue. 5TH CIR. R. 41.3.
Because neither this en banc court, nor the panel, can conduct further judicial business in this appeal, the Clerk is directed to dismiss the appeal.
The rules provided for vacating the panel decision merely pursuant to the forthcoming en banc decision. The result, of course, is to dismiss an appeal that’s been decided on the merits for appellants, through no fault of their own, not on the merits, but on a strained and suspicious hyperliteralistic application of the court’s own rules.
If the SCOTUS doesn’t grant cert here and reinstate the panel’s decision — which, remember, merely allows the case to proceed to discovery — then it’s going to be very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Americans can’t sue Big Oil and win. And that the Fifth Circuit has some judges who are unclear on the concept of “justice.” (emphasis added) Continue reading “Fifth Circuit's dip stick decision not to decide Comer v Murphy Oil”
The 5 years since Katrina have at times seemed very surreal and certainly Kafkaesque. And again we find style over substance is the corporate MO. I heard about this listening to Spuds last week but the H/T goes to Editilla, who hung the CNN story on the Ladder late last week. To set it up, we have a corrupt local politician taking advantage of the gift de fluff given him by the masters of disaster at BP:
Early Friday morning, “a number of buses brought in approximately 300 to 400 workers that had been recruited all week,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CNN’s “Situation Room.”
Roberts said the workers were offered $12 an hour to come out to the scene at Grand Isle and work in what he called a “dog and pony show.”
Gov. Haley Barbour and DMR Director Bill Walker said Thursday they trust the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not to allow Louisiana to build any berm or sand barriers east of the mouth of Mississippi River that would cause oil to flow into Mississippi waters.
Good thing you trust them Haley because no one down here does.
I don’t know how I ended up getting spam from Phil because I never signed up to receive any email from the ol’ boy. That said folks Phil was in rare form so I think we should quote him. It is amazing how ignorant of the man sounds when he is not ripping on mexicans or otherwise scapegoating a minority. Is it any wonder nothing has been done during his term as Lite Gov to solve the coastal insurance crisis?
Phil Bryant Thinks BP is “doing a good job…a remarkable job.”
“We know BP is hard at work. We know they’ve spent over I think $300 million; there are ten thousand people involved in it; nearly 300 thousand vessels. I think they’re doing a good job…. We’ve done a marvelous job; BP has done a remarkable job at dispersing it.”
“So I don’t think you over react…The material that you see now, the rust colored material that is somewhere between 50 and 60 miles out, but if you take a sample of that I am told there are no hydrocarbons in that product so its not toxic.” – WLOX Four O’Clock Show: 05-11-2010