Likewise, the task of commentary is difficult. The period covered here-the first decade of the Eleventh Circuit-represents, quite literally and figuratively, the formative era of the court. Indeed, the volume of decisions and their variety are qualities that ought to humble, if not intimidate, most commentators. Justice Holmes once observed that a common law court could be expected to replicate the entire corpus juris in the space of a single generation. The Eleventh Circuit did this consciously between 1981 and 1991. In Bonner v. City of Prichard, the inaugural en banc court held that the new court-just cleaved from the former Fifth Circuit-would deem itself bound by the precedents of the old court. Of course, any transfused precedent of the Fifth Circuit or any subsequent decision of the new Eleventh Circuit is subject to reconsideration by the en banc court.
Thomas E. Baker,
The Eleventh Circuit’s First Decade Contribution to the Law of the Nation, 1981-1991
, 19 Nova L. Rev. 323
Available at: http://ecollections.law.fiu.edu/faculty_publications/179