Four months ago, a CA3 panel issued a published opinion with a gross legal error. I posted about it when it was issued, here. It was a surprising blunder, but judges are busy and the mistake wasn’t easy to catch just by reading the opinion. Mistakes happen, and they can be fixed. So, even though it had won the appeal, the E.D.Pa. US Attorney’s office promptly moved to amend the opinion to correct the error. On Friday, three and a half months later, the panel finally ruled on the government’s motion to amend.
Denied? Huh. On what grounds? you ask. Well, here is the explanation provided by the panel, see if you can follow the legal reasoning:
The foregoing motion is denied.
It is signed by the author of the original opinion, Judge Nygaard, on behalf of the original panel, Chief Judge McKee and Judge Chagares.
Not a proud day for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.