At long last, the First Circuit has issued its en banc decision in Eves v. LePage. Cutting to the chase, the Court affirmed Judge Singal’s dismissal of the action on qualified immunity grounds.
Six judges heard the case: CJ Howard, and Judges Torruella, Stahl, Lynch, Thompson and Barron (Judge Kayatta recused). There were two opinions, one written by Judge Lynch, joined by CJ Howard and Judge Stahl, and a concurrence written by Judge Thompson, joined by Judges Torruella and Barron. The Judge Lynch opinion is the ruling, because it is the narrowest opinion, holding that Governor LePage was immune because a reasonable governor in his situation could have believed that Eves’ position as the new President of Good Will-Hinckley was to be a policymaking position for which political affiliation was relevant.
The concurrence agreed, but wrote an opinion discussing why absent that policymaking issue, they would have found no immunity.
All of that discussion from Judge Thompson in the