The Tenth Circuit decided matters concerning civil procedure, environmental law, and criminal procedure.
Morris v. US Nuclear Reg. Comm'n., No. 07-9505, involved a petition for review of a license granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to conduct in situ leach mining for uranium on four sites in northwest New Mexico. The court of appeals denied the petition, on the grounds that 1) the clear language of 10 C.F.R. section 20.1301(a)(1) supported the NRC's decision to focus only on the licensed operation; 2) the National Environmental Policy Act did not prohibit approval of projects with negative cumulative effects; it only required that the agency consider and disclose such effects; and 3) there was no evidence in the administrative record to support petitioners' assertion that the NRC based its adoption of the nine-pore-volume restoration effort on economic reasons.
McBeth v. Himes, No. 07-1165, was an action arising out of an investigation by the sheriff's office and the Colorado Department of Human Services that resulted in plaintiff surrendering her license to run a daycare facility in Colorado. The court of appeals partly affirmed the district court's partial summary judgment based on qualified immunity for defendant-officials, on the grounds that 1) plaintiff voluntarily relinquished her license before any suspension proceedings could take place; and 2) defendants made a prima facie showing that they acted objectively reasonably when they sought suspension of plaintiff's daycare license. However, the court reversed in part, on the grounds that plaintiff failed to allege and prove that the state officials lacked cause to seek suspension of her license.
Kane Cty. v. US, No. 09-4087, involved an appeal from the denial of plaintiffs' motion to intervene in an action brought by Kane County, Utah, to quiet title to several purported rights-of-way across federal public lands. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that 1) even assuming plaintiffs had an interest in the quiet title proceedings at issue, plaintiffs failed to establish that the U.S. could not adequately represent plaintiffs' interest; and 2) the denial of permissive intervention was not arbitrary and capricious.
In US v. Chavez-Suarez, No. 09-1005, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's sentence for reentering the country following deportation after a conviction for a drug trafficking offense, on the grounds that, in light of all of the evidence in the record, including defendant's past illegal reentries and certain aggravating factors in his underlying drug-trafficking conviction, the imposition of a guidelines-range sentence did not manifest a clear error of judgment by the district court.