News on the Del Castillo Free Speech Lawsuit
After the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel decided against her free speech claims on February 18, counsel for Appellant Heather Kokesch Del Castillo had two options; they could either appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court or ask the 11th Circuit to rehear the case to ascertain whether the panel made a mistake of law. On March 10, they filed a petition for a rehearing en banc, meaning they are asking for all sitting judges on the 11th Circuit to decide whether the panel decision conflicts with existing Supreme Court or 11th Circuit precedent. Eleventh Circuit judges have 30 days from the filing to indicate their willingness to rehear the case.
If a majority declare their belief it should be reheard en banc, there will likely be new briefs filed and oral arguments made. In that event, the Academy anticipates filing a friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief to provide the judges with important information about the history and practice of dietetics relevant to their decision-making. If a majority of 11th Circuit judges choose not to rehear the case en banc, we expect Kokesch Del Castillo’s lawyers to appeal to the Supreme Court and will keep you informed of any developments.