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November 2014 Archives

SCOTUS Grants Cert. on EPA Electric Utility Regulation

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases, consolidated into one argument, on the issue of EPA regulation of electric utilities. Michigan v. EPA, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, and National Mining Association v. EPA all seek to address whether it was unreasonable for the EPA to refuse to consider cost when determining whether to regulate air pollutants emitted by electric utilities under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act.

The cases have nationwide importance, as indicated by the gazillions of states that are petitioners and respondents in this case.

D.C. Cir. Cancels Obamacare Subsidies Arguments Thanks to SCOTUS

Big shocker: A lower court decided not to hear a case because a higher court is going to decide the issue for them! Yeah, we saw this coming too once the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Fourth Circuit's Obamacare subsidies case: The D.C. Circuit pressed pause on its own en banc consideration of the issue.

Meantime, also in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a three-judge panel upheld the Obama administration's newest workaround for religious exemption to the birth control mandate.

Obamacare litigation never ends, does it?

D.C. Votes to Legalize Marijuana, but Congress Could Change That

Even though the District of Columbia overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana earlier this month, Washington, D.C. is no normal place, as its residents know all too well. Though the District does have a city council, acts of the council are subject to approval by Congress, with whom the buck stops when it comes to governing D.C.

So the question remains: Will a Congress that still considers marijuana as deadly as heroin be amenable to approving it for recreational use?

Klayman v. Obama: D.C. Cir. to Hear NSA Surveillance Case

On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in Klayman v. Obama, a case that has the potential to alter the Fourth Amendment -- if the court will let it.

Back in December, District Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction to block the NSA's "metadata" surveillance. Though Leon wasn't ruling on the constitutionality of the program (because likelihood of success on the merits is one element of issuing an injunction), he said the program was very likely unconstitutional.