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6 New DC Superior Court Candidates for Obama to Consider

The retirements of Hon. Ann O'Regan Keary and Hon. Harold L. Cushenberry, Jr. from the DC Superior Court leave vacancies that the Judicial Nomination Commission is eager to fill. The Commission recently forwarded a list of nominees to President Obama.

Congress's Democratic leaders want the D.C. Circuit to know they are anything but neutral when it comes to net neutrality. More than two dozen congressional senators and representatives have signed on to an amicus brief supporting the FCC's right to regulate Internet service providers as "common carriers."

The amicus brief puts the Congress members, lead by Senator Edward Markey and Representative Anna Eshoo, against the telecom industry, which has sued to prevent the FCC's new net neutrality rules.

D.C. Cir. Upholds Your Right to Use a Kindle During Takeoff

Back in 2013, the FAA blissfully relaxed restrictions on when personal electronic devices (PEDs) could be used on airplanes. Prior to October 31, 2013, passengers had to wait until the plane was above 10,000 feet before using things like eBook readers and portable video game players.

That all changed -- because those rules weren't grounded in reality -- but the Association of Flight Attendants challenged the law. Last week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the challenge.

Obamacare Subsidies Case Granted Rehearing En Banc

Back in July, a curious thing happened: Two circuit courts of appeal, both addressing the same issue, released conflicting opinions within hours of each other. In the D.C. Circuit, the panel held that the language of the Affordable Care Act only authorized tax subsidies for low-income individuals who purchased insurance through state exchanges. A few hours later, and a few hours' drive south, the Fourth Circuit went the other way and agreed with the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation, which allows subsidies for those who purchase through the federal exchange.

The D.C. Circuit ruling was a massive blow to the federal program and could have meant the end of Obamacare. Could have, but might not, as the circuit just pulled its opinion and granted en banc review.

While much ado was being made of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, another case that could be the death knell for Obamacare flew below the radar -- that is, until the D.C. Circuit ruled against the Obama administration. Then, everyone was all ears. That's because the court's decision -- if adopted by other circuits -- could mean the end of the Affordable Care Act as we know it.

But you didn't think the Obama administration would stop there, did you? Last Friday, the administration filed a petition for rehearing en banc. Let's explore whether the D.C. Circuit will grant the petition.

D.C. Cir.: Obamacare Subsidies for States Only; 4th Cir. Disagrees

This might be the quickest circuit split we've ever seen: Within hours of each other, the D.C. Circuit and the Fourth Circuit each ruled on parallel challenges to Obamacare subsidies provided to individuals who purchase insurance through the federal exchange.

The D.C. Circuit "reluctantly" ruled against the government, holding that the unambiguous text of the statute, which provides only for subsides for insurance policies "enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State," supports the plaintiffs' contention that the IRS was not authorized to provide tax credits individuals using the federal exchange. A dissenting judge from the D.C. Circuit, as well as the Fourth Circuit, disagreed, holding that the language of the statute as a whole is ambiguous, and that the IRS's interpretation was a "permissible exercise of the agency's discretion."

It's an instant circuit split, one that could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court as early as next term, depending on whether en banc review in the two courts is sought or granted.

We wouldn't exactly call the D.C. Circuit the sleeper circuit, but let's just say that since it covers a small area, big headlines aren't made as frequently as say, the Second or Ninth Circuit. Not so, lately. As the Court sits in our nation's capital, it's getting politically charged lately with high profile cases making their way into the circuit.

Here's an update on changes to the bench, impending trials and controversies.

The District of Columbia has some positions open for attorneys, so get your resumes ready. To start, the District of Columbia election for Attorney General has proven contentious with the public and politicians at odds about when the election should take place.

And in less controversial job hunting, the D.C. Court of Appeals has announced that the application period for the Criminal Justice Act Panel is now open.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

Today the District of Columbia Court of Appeals announced proposed changes to Circuit Rules 25, 26 and 32. These rules have been a long time coming, as they are designed to replace the requirements for Case Management / Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system, which were adopted by Administrative Order filed on May 15, 2009. The proposed rules would incorporate the CM/ECF requirements into existing Circuit Rules.

Here's a closer look at the changes.

As the country awaits the Supreme Court's decisions in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga regarding the Obamacare contraception mandates, related cases are making their way through circuit courts around the country.

While Hobby Lobby and Conestoga deal with secular, for-profit corporations and their ability to "exercise religion," another emerging trend in contraception mandate cases will likely be the next Obamacare case before the Court.