DC Circuit

DC Circuit - The FindLaw DC Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


DC Circuit Sides With Gov't in TSA/Flight School Case

Unless the petitioner appeals to a higher power (SCOTUS, that is), it appears that the battle is over between a Venezuelan man and the TSA concerning his denial into flight school. The reasons for the denial? Security concerns. Of course, this raises several issues of due process.

Can the TSA block access to flight school based on what the lower court called "absurd" justifications? Apparently, yes.

'Fokker' Decision Raises Concerns About Deferred Prosecution Agreements

According to a recent ruling by the D.C. Circuit, federal judges have no authority to "second-guess" the practice of federal prosecutors cutting deals with companies indicted for criminal wrongdoing. Such deals are known professionally as "deferred prosecution agreements."

The opinion, written by Judge Sri Srinivasan, shines a light on the somewhat controversial practice of negotiating with criminal defendants to pay big money instead of marring themselves with a criminal record.

Dog Shooting Case Will Move to Trial, DC Circuit Rules

An elderly D.C. woman will finally be able to have her case heard in court after the D.C. Circuit Court determined that a reasonable jury could have determined that officers were unreasonable in shooting the plaintiff's dog while executing a search warrant for drugs.

This is the second qualified immunity case recently reviewed by a circuit that also involved dogs within the facts.

No, it's not 2003 anymore, but Netflix still sends millions of DVDs through the Postal Service every week. Indeed, Netflix alone purchases 97 percent of the U.S. Postal Service's "round-trip" mailers, the products that allow you to return a mailed DVD with an enclosed envelope, no extra postage necessary.

Currently, the law restricts how much the Postal Service can charge for those mailers. USPS had recently sought to change that, seeking to raise rates on those red envelopes, but their request was denied by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The Service sued, but the D.C. Circuit declined to undo the Commission's ruling on Tuesday. Netflix customers, your DVD deliveries are safe for now.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Supreme Court nominee. This morning, President Obama put forth Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit, as a potential replacement for the seat vacated more than a month ago, when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.

Garland is a moderate liberal, respected as a "brilliant" jurist by attorneys, judges, and politicians of all stripes. And in his nineteen years on the D.C. Circuit, he's had plenty of time to build that reputation. So let's take a look at some of Judge Merrick Garland's most important D.C. Circuit opinions.

A lawsuit challenging the permitting of a waste incinerator in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, failed in the D.C. Circuit last Friday, as the court of appeals ruled the Sierra Club de Puerto Rico was almost 36 years too late in bringing its Clean Air Act challenge.

The incinerator plant, which is expected to release 0.31 tons of lead air pollution annually, is new. But the rule governing its permitting is not, dating back to 1980. The Sierra Club had failed to show any "after-arising grounds" for challenging the rule, the court ruled.

The Fish and Wildlife Service did not violate the law when it removed the dunes sagebrush lizard from consideration for endangered species protection, a unanimous D.C. panel ruled on Tuesday. The dunes sagebrush lizard had been up for protection for years, but FWS reversed course and stopped considering endangered species protections in 2012, after Texas and New Mexico adopted voluntary conservation measures.

The dunes sagebrush lizard lives in a small area of southeastern New Mexico and Texas, which just happens to be prime oil land. Oil companies had feared that a win for the lizard could hinder oil production in the Permian Basin, the largest oil patch in the nation.

DC Circuit Hears Oral Args on Obama Drone Strike Records

Does a drone strike qualify as intelligence? Oral arguments that strike at the very heart of this question began recently and are sure to leave DC Circuit Judge David Tatel’s head spinning.

This is the latest chapter in the ACLU’s attempt to pry open the CIA’s files and lists on overseas drone-killings and the definition of “intelligence” could be the make-or-breaker.

Will Scalia's Replacement Come From the DC Circuit?

Now that one of the most dogged voices of social conservatism has passed away, many are wondering what the implications will be for many of the SCOTUS cases that are scheduled to be heard by the justices.

As Capitol Hill sets about tripping over itself after Scalia's death, let's consider what the implications for the DC Circuit will be.

'Coalition' Attempts Fail to Roadblock the EPA's Clean Power Plan

Attempts to block the EPA's Clean Power Plan through the use of a judicial stay have failed and state utilities have been greenlit to begin implementing the CPP. A coalition of various coal and fossil fuel interests failed to convince a panel of judges that they met the "stringent requirements for a pending court review."

This means that the Plan, which seeks to put severe limitations on carbon pollution by existing plants, will be in effect until June.