By: ClydeMorris, Attorney for the Association
On September 16, the 11th Circuit denied the petition by FL and AL for an en banc rehearing of the decision in Phase 1 of the Water Wars. FL and AL have reportedly decided to appeal the 11th Circuit’s decision to the U. S. Supreme Court. The mechanism for doing this is called a petition for a writ of certiorari. The important thing to know about such petitions is that the Supreme Court receives about 9,000 petitions a year, and grants only about 90 of them, or about 1%. If your case is one of the lucky 90, you still have to convince the Supreme Court that the Court of Appeals was wrong, which is an uphill battle in itself.
If you do the math, you can readily see that FL and AL’s chances of overturning the 11th Circuit decision are not enviable. The 11th Circuit’s decision was unanimous, with no dissenting opinions, and the petition for en banc rehearing did not get a single request from any judge in the Circuit even to poll the others regarding their interest in rehearing the case. There is no other Circuit Court opinion at odds with this decision, so the Supreme Court has no need of resolving a conflict among Circuit courts, which is typically the type of situation that compels the Supreme Court to take a case. So, the challenge is great for FL and AL to succeed in getting this case heard by the Supreme Court. But if they do, the Association will be there to defend its position on behalf of all our members.