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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The 5th Circuit has been presented with a petition for rehearing en banc, though the court considers it to be a petition for panel rehearing. HOLDING:Petition denied. “The narrow holding in the instant case is that, under the Supreme Court’s decision in Lapides v. Bd. of Regents of Georgia, 535 U.S. 613, 122 S.Ct. 1640 (2002), when a State removes to federal court a private state court suit based on a federal-law claim, it invokes federal jurisdiction and thus waives its unqualified right to object peremptorily to the federal district court’s jurisdiction on the ground of state sovereign immunity. However, that waiver does not affect or limit the State’s ability to assert whatever rights, immunities or defenses are provided for by its own sovereign immunity law to defeat the claims against the State finally and on their merits in the federal courts. In sum, Texas may assert its state sovereign immunity as defined by its own law as a defense against the plaintiffs’ claims in the federal courts, but it may not use it to defeat federal jurisdiction or as a return ticket back to the state court system. Additionally, the panel opinion does not reach or decide, but remands for further proceedings, the issues of whether the ADA Title II on its face or as applied constitutionally abrogates the State’s sovereign immunity; whether the plaintiffs failed to state a claim based on a violation of Title II or the regulation; whether the regulation sued upon is invalid under Chevron USA Inc v. NRDC, 467 US 837, 104 S.Ct. 2778 (1984); and whether the Commerce Clause authorizes the enactment of ADA Title II.” OPINION:Dennis, J.; Wiener, Benavides and Dennis, J.J.

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