Judge Carnes on Lions, Donkeys, and Hides!

As far as I can tell, this is a case about whether telephone carriers should have to disburse to customers fees they collected pursuant to a FCC requirement imposed upon the carriers that has since been held illegal.

But Judge Carnes has bigger donkey hides to fry:
That is the motivating issue in this case, but it is not the specific question presented by this appeal. Instead, the question we have is whether the district court has subject matter jurisdiction to decide that issue. In answering that question, we are reminded of Justice Holmes’ view about the comparative difficulty of deciding cases. He said that “when you walk up to the lion and lay hold the hide comes off and the same old donkey of a question of law is underneath.” In our experience that view is not always accurate, but it is here. The best way for us to get the hide off the lion in this case is to summarize the applicable law, including the relevant FCC orders, before setting out the procedural history and facts. Be forewarned that there is a lot of hide.

At this point the 11th should just start embedding a "rim shot app" so you can appreciate these opinions in all their glory.


  1. Huh huh, huh huh huh. He said "rim," Beavis.

  2. Carnes should dial it back.

  3. He jumped the shark hide long ago.

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