U.S. Tenth Circuit

U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


When Does a Campaign Ad Qualify as an 'Electioneering Communication'?

Citizens United has been vilified by the media over the yeas as the case that encapsulated the infamous "money equals speech" mantra, a statement that has been postered as the cynical influence of shadowy money influencing politics. Well, the much skimmed over dicta of the case just got a shot in the arm by the Tenth Circuit.

According to the circuit, the public has an "informational interests" ala Citizens that requires disclosure of donors that pay for ads that even mention candidates in the days leading up to an election. And everybody likes disclosure, right?

Professor Discrimination Case Remanded by Tenth Cir.

The Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded a race employment discrimination case back to the lower court on Friday, providing an opportunity for the plaintiff to better craft his complaint against his former employer, Northeastern State University.

In doing so, the Court offered a nifty little guide regarding how federal courts must consider the actions of each defendant on an individual basis when determining whether or not that defendant is entitled to qualified immunity.

Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown, along with the shared husband Kody, were just simple people going about their own business (and starring in the reality show 'Sister Wives') when they came under investigation for polygamy. The Browns weren't charged with a crime, but they challenged Utah's longstanding polygamy ban nonetheless -- and they won.

Now, the Sister Wives are taking their pro-polygamy campaign to the Tenth Circuit, which heard oral arguments over the ban today.

Seizing a Prisoner's Guitar Isn't a Due Process Violation

An inmate who was possibly a little too flower-power for his own good had his guitar seizure case dismissed by the Tenth Circuit's Court of Appeals.

In a desperate bid to get his instrument back, the plaintiff started blustering his way through the court system, trying to throw every possible legal theory he had at his case. He lost.

Chinese Citizen Denied Asylum in U.S. for Application Inconsistencies

A Chinese national was denied asylum despite his claims of persecution in China for his Catholic beliefs. The denial of asylum was affirmed at the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for inconsistencies he presented first before an Immigration Judge.

According to the Immigration Judge, Mr. Dao Kai He failed to "establish his credibility" because he provided multiple answers when asked to reconcile inconsistencies.

A Colorado couple who built a three-bedroom ranch house did not infringe upon the architectural copyright of a custom home designer, the Tenth Circuit ruled on Tuesday. Savant Home, a custom home builder, created a model three-bedroom ranch house in Windsor, Colorado. That house was toured by Ron and Tammie Wagner, who later built their own, similar three-bedroom ranch house.

But when Savant sued, the Tenth Circuit found that the houses' similarity was not enough to amount to a copyright infringement. The unanimous three-judge panel decision is the first to address architectural copyright infringement in the Tenth, Reuters reports, and the first time the court has endorsed the "abstraction-filtration-comparison" test for such claims.

Planned Parenthood is taking its battle with Utah Governor Gary Herbert to the Tenth Circuit. The state branch of the national organization filed an appeal with the circuit court on Sunday, seeking to halt Herbert's denial of nearly $275,000 in federal funds channeled through the state to the group.

Gov. Herbert made the move in response to controversial videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing abortions and fetal tissue. A federal court in Utah upheld the funding change last week, leading to this weekend's appeal.

Colorado Pot Dispensary Loses Tax Fight at 10th Cir.

Federal prosecutors might look past pot dispensaries in Colorado, but the "tax man never will." This was the conclusion of Tenth Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch who assumed a rather sympathetic tone when addressing the Colorado pot dispensaries. "Maybe we're missing something," he said. "Maybe a future party will show us what it is we're missing."

What cases like this aren't missing is a maddening inconsistency in spirit between state and federal law.

Lawyer's 'Ponzi' Capital Gains Must Be Repaid, Rules 10th Cir.

An Illinois lawyer who 'earned' $34,500 on his original investment of $60,000 has been ordered to repay his profits from the ill conceived pay-day con. The lawyer had made the money through a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Impact Payment Systems, LLC.

He's not the only one who was schnookered out of money. Over $47 million was raised by the owner of Impact from about 120 different investors for the purposes of helping Impact get off the ground only to later crash and burn.

Snowboarders Cry Foul but Lose Equal Protection Lawsuit

In what has got to be this years' most finicky, hair-splitting case, the Tenth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit by a group of snowboarders who claimed equal protection violations by the U.S. Forest Service whose special-use permit excluded snowboarders but allowed skiers.

In the opinion of U.S. Judge Dee Benson, "the equal protection clause is not a general fairness law that allows anyone who feels discriminated against to bring an action in federal court."