Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


The 1996 survey period was a reasonably quiet year for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in terms of dramatic developments in civil constitutional law. The most significant labor of the court of appeals was directed toward accommodation of developing law in the United States Supreme Court surrounding the application of evidentiary sufficiency standards to qualified immunity inquiries. The Eleventh Circuit continued its resolve against exercising pendent appellate jurisdiction in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's directive in Swint v. Chamber County Commission. The court of appeals had occasion to consider, in three separate contexts, the municipal final policymaker issue in advance of the Supreme Court's pending opinion. Although the Eleventh Circuit continues to hold fast against any proposed erosions of its holding on the availability of substantive due process relief, it continues to be given opportunities to recede from that position. As the court of appeals finds its way toward stronger consensus in the civil constitutional arena, the Supreme Court's activity on the subject prevents the court of appeals from becoming clearly focused.