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

January 2012 Archives

Tell Me Sweet Little Lies? Tenth Circuit Uphold Stolen Valor Act

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the Stolen Valor Act on Friday, less than a month before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in U.S. v. Alvarez.

In a lengthy, split decision, the Denver-based court upheld the Act, which criminalizes false claims about military honors.

Obama Nominates Judge Robert Bacharach to Tenth Circuit

President Obama nominated Oklahoma Judge Robert Bacharach to a seat on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

Judge Bacharach, who currently serves as a federal magistrate judge in Oklahoma City, will replace Judge Robert Henry. Judge Henry left his post as Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010 to accept a position as President and CEO of Oklahoma City University, reports Tulsa World.

Political Shakedown is not an Equal Protection Violation

Political corruption claims are all-too-common. Usually, such claims are resolved when the politician either winds up with jail time, or beats the charges.

Today, however, we have a case in which a political corruption “victim” pushed a case all the way to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the politicians -- former New Mexico State Treasurer Robert Vigil and his deputy, Ann Marie Gallegos -- violated the victim’s civil rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Tenth Circuit judges weren’t sympathetic to the victim’s plight.

Tenth Circuit: No Sex Offender Ban for Albuquerque Libraries

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reluctantly sided with a registered sex offender this week in a facial challenge to an Albuquerque law that prohibited registered sex offenders from entering the City's public libraries.

Because the City failed to present any evidence as to the reasons or justification for its ban, the court had no choice but to affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of John Doe, the sex-offender appellee.

Migraine Sufferer Not Disabled in ADA Claim

Migraines may be painful, but employers may not be required to make special accommodations for migraine-plagued employees under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Last month, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that migraines may satisfy the impairment prong of an ADA claim, but they do not automatically trigger ADA disability protections.

Tenth Circuit: Anti-Sharia Law Doesn't Survive Larson Test

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a district court did not err in enjoining an anti-Sharia state constitutional amendment that prevents Oklahoma state courts from considering or using Sharia law in decisions.

Not only did the appellate court find the measure discriminatory, and unlikely to survive a constitutional challenge under the Larson test, it also noted that there is no evidence that U.S. courts are influenced by Muslim legal precepts in the Sharia, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

Oklahoma voters approved a “Save our State” constitutional amendment in November 2010. The law was written to prohibit judges from using international laws as a basis for decisions, and specifically banned the use of Sharia law.

Federal Judge Strikes New Mexico Campaign Finance Law

The Montana Supreme Court may have defied the U.S. Supreme Court last month in its Western Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General decision, but the federal courts are falling in line with the Nine when it comes to campaign finance laws.

Last week, U.S. District Judge William Johnson struck down provisions of the New Mexico Campaign Reporting Act that limited financial contributions to be used in federal campaigns and for independent expenditures in state races, reports NMPolitics.net.

Take Note: Tenth Circuit Issues Opinions in 2 Sex Offender Cases

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two opinions in sex offender cases last week that should pique the interest of defense attorneys. Both cases, U.S. v. Randell Lonjose and U.S. v. Franklin Carel, Jr., involved adults who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor on Indian lands.

In the first case, U.S. v. Randell Lonjose, the Tenth Circuit reversed a condition of appellant Randell Lonjose’s supervised release.

Lonjose pleaded guilty in 2007 to one count of sexual abuse of a minor in Indian country. He was sentenced to 51 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Tenth Circuit to Hear Appeal in 1994 Genocide Case

Genocide trials usually involve the United Nations, not the U.S. federal court system, so it may come as a surprise that widows of the former presidents of Rwanda and Burundi are asking the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to examine the events surrounding the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Fighting in Rwanda began after a surface-to-air missile shot down a plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira. The current President, Paul Kagame, has been in power since emerging from the 1994 genocide as the country's leader.