Hats off to the bloggers at the Law Firm of Squires/Sanders for a great blog post on how to seek en banc rehearing in the Sixth Circuit. En banc rehearing is a rehearing before all active judges in the Sixth Circuit. En banc rehearing is reserved for rare cases where the decision directly conflicts with prior circuit precedent (which it should never theoretically do, but it does unfortunately happen), or the decision is an issue of exceptional importance such as a situation where the circuits are completely split or where the panel has declared an Act of Congress unconstitutional. The mere fact that the panel got it “wrong.”
Professor Barry Friedman (no relation) has an interesting article (The Wages of Stealth Overruling) in the Georgetown Law Review on the US Supreme Court’s backing away from its prior rulings without officially overruling the same. Professor Friedman is particularly critical of the practice. He thinks that the Court does this to avoid criticisms about failing to adhere to past precedent of the Court. He further thinks the Court does it to evade negative public opinion.