Civil Rights and Criminal Rulings
Today, the Fifth Circuit decided one case concerning a public school teacher's First Amendment rights, and another involving a drug conviction.
In Fairchild v. Liberty Indep. Sch. Dist., No. 08-40833, plaintiff claimed that defendants violated her First Amendment rights after firing her from a public school teacher position because they did not allow her at a school board meeting to present her side of her troubles with a teacher for whom she had been an aide. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed on the ground that the board's policies were both viewpoint-neutral and reasonable in light of the forum's purpose.
In US v. Banuelos-Romero, No. 09-10465, defendant appealed his drug possession conviction.
The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the officer who searched defendant's vehicle had probable cause to search the car, and this allowed the officer to continue the detention until he confirmed or dispelled the suspicion that there was contraband hidden in the vehicle.