Unanimous En Banc on Sixth Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has a reputation for being one of the most divided and contentious courts in the nation.  Many of the courts divided opinions have been chronicled on this blog.  But it’s important not to overstate the degree of division on the court.  Last week, for instance, the court issued a unanimous en banc decision in Chapman v. UAW Local 1005, a case considering whether a GM employee’s suit against both his employer and his union was barred because of his failure to exhause his internal union remedies before filing suit in federal court.  Not only were the judges unanimous in rejecting the employee’s claim, they also united around a decision to overturn one of the circuit’s own precedents, a 1999 decision Williams v. Molpus as “inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent and contrary to national labor policy.”