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

February 2013 Archives

11 Congressmen Submit Amicus Brief in Hobby Lobby Obamacare Case

In the case of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) challenge that won't die, new voices are now jumping into the legal fray. Eleven Republican Congressmen, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, submitted an amicus brief in support of Hobby Lobby's challenge of Obamacare in the name of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

We've covered a few of Hobby Lobby's crafty exploits here, but up to this point, they've had little success in fighting the health care mandate and its related birth control provisions.

No Mercy for ACCA Enhancement Based on Juvenile Crimes

Paul Everett Rich III was just a wee lad of 14 when he committed his first crime: robbery with a dangerous weapon. That case was adjudicated and later "dismissed" as that term is used in Oklahoma Courts.

Two serious crimes later and a trip to a nightclub with a Bersa Thunder strapped to his hip, and he was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty to the charge and then faced a sentencing enhancement under the Armed Career Criminals Act, which includes "juvenile delinquency involving the use of or carrying of a firearm, knife, or destructive device" in its definition of prior "violent felonies."

AEDPA Deference Despite Prosecutor's Improper Closing

Ronald Miller is an Oklahoma man convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor, who — based on the prosecutor’s statements — seems to be related to Miller.

Miller appealed his convictions to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA), citing alleged improper statements to the jury by both the prosecutor and the judge, as well as ineffective assistance of counsel claims due to his lawyer’s failure to object.

What were those statements?