US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Defense Distributed v. United States
Opinion Date: January 21, 2020
Judge: James C. Ho
Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law
Plaintiffs, Second Amendment advocates, filed suit seeking to prevent the State Department from blocking their efforts to publish plans for how to assemble a firearm using a 3D printer. Plaintiffs settled with the State Department and then voluntarily dismissed the suit. Now plaintiffs seek to revive their Texas suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) in response to a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the settlement issued by the Western District of Washington. The Fifth Circuit declined plaintiffs request to revive the lawsuit, holding that Rule 59(e) authorizes motions to alter or amend judgments, not to revive lawsuits. The court explained that the initiation and prosecution of the Washington suit did not render any action by the district court in Texas erroneous, let alone manifestly erroneous.
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