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The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Tenth Circuit's interpretation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act on Wednesday. That law requires schools to provide disabled students with a free and appropriate public education, or FAPE. But to meet that standard, the Tenth had ruled, schools must confer an educational benefit that is "merely more than de minimis." The law is "markedly more demanding" than that, the Supreme Court ruled this morning.

The timing was a bit uncomfortable for the Tenth's Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court nominee, who was undergoing questioning before the Senate as the Supreme Court decision was released.

Court Throws Out Suit Over Bad EPA Raid

A federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for raiding a private company's laboratory, even though an agency official later admitted there were insufficient grounds to justify the raid.

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals said the EPA was entitled to sovereign immunity in Garling v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A trial judge had dismissed the case against Roger and Sheryl Garling as time barred, but the appeals court said the court lacked jurisdiction.

"Sovereign immunity bars all of the Garlings' seven claims and precludes federal court jurisdiction," the court said.

Court Says EEOC Subpoena Overly Broad

Cutting away at a subpoena for being too broad, a federal appeals court turned back an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling against the EEOC because the agency issued a subpoena that sought more information than justified by its investigation. The agency was investigating one worker's claim of pregnancy and disability discrimination, but had issued subpoenas for "a complete list" of records about other pregnant or disabled employees.

"The district court did not abuse its discretion in determining the EEOC had not satisfied its burden to justify its expanded investigation," Judge Scott M. Matheson Jr. wrote for the unanimous panel.

The Tenth Circuit could be sending a native up to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, President Trump announced that Neil Gorsuch will be his nominee to replace the late Justice Scalia. If confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch would be the first Coloradan on the Court since Justice Byron White and the first Tenth Circuit judge, by our count, to ever make it to the High Court.

With just over ten years serving on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch has penned many opinions worth review. Here are, ahem, our top ten.

Appeals Court Strikes ALJ Appointments

A federal appeals court has ruled that an administrative law judge's appointment was unconstitutional, setting up a battle that calls into question the validity of ALJ appointments across the country.

Siding with a businessman who was punished for violating securities laws, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals said that a Securities and Exchange Commission judge did not have authority to act in the case because he was not appointed by the President, a court, or a department head.

"Because the SEC ALJ was not constitutionally appointed, he held his office in violation of the Appointments Clause," the majority said.

High Court Stays Silent on Internet Tax

Declining to review a state law on reporting internet sales taxes, the U.S. Supreme Court said nothing about internet taxation itself. But it was close, and perhaps a lucky break for internet businesses in the United States.

The High Court denied a petition to review Colorado's reporting law, which the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld against a legal challenge earlier this year. The Tenth Circuit said the state law, which requires out-of-state internet retailers to report tax liabilities for its Colorado customers, was constitutional. In its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Data and Marketing Association said the state law discriminated against internet businesses that have only a virtual connection to Colorado

Although the petitioners' lost their battle to overturn the law last week, internet businesses are still winning the war against internet sales taxes in the meantime. The law does not require businesses to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence.

10th Cir. Halts Albuquerque Rapid Transit at 11th Hour

The Tenth Circuit issued a temporary injunction that halted a rapid transit project in its tracks just days before shovels were set to hit the dirt. It's a feather in Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry's cap after his previous failed attempts to stop the ART.

This is hardly the last anyone will hear of this legal battle. After all, $120 million has already been sunk into this thing.

Former Oklahoma Senate Leader Must Be Resentenced, 10th Circuit Orders

Michael Morgan, an Oklahoma attorney and former leader of the Oklahoma Senate was sentenced in 2012 to probation arising out of a charge bribery. Since the Tenth Circuit found that the punishment was "grossly at odds" with sentencing guidelines, he will now be resentenced. Basically, the Tenth Circuit determined that the lower court gave the defendant an easy pass.

When Michael Morgan was convicted for bribery, the jury acquitted him of about 60 other criminal counts. Morgan asked for a new trial alleging that the prosecution failed to disclose "tacit agreements" with a witness, insufficiency of evidence and failure to properly instruct the jury. Unfortunately for him, the 3 judge-panel disagreed and found that the jury's conviction of Morgan was based on sufficient factual evidence and further described the trial court's order of Morgan's probation as "little more than a slap on the wrist."

Timothy Tymkovich became the new Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit last week, replacing Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, whose five year term as chief ended in September. As a judge and former Colorado solicitor general, Tymkovich has been involved in a number of notable cases, dealing with everything from gay rights to gun rights, freedom of speech to freedom of religion.

But his first week as chief hasn't brought any headline making decisions just yet. Rather, the new Chief Judge's docket has been full of child porn and bicycle accidents, according to The Colorado Statesman.

The separation of powers is good for everyone -- unless you're a state governor with a political agenda you want to implement quickly. Then you might find the judiciary, for instance, to be a bit of a nuisance.

Gov. Sam Brownback wouldn't be the first governor to confront this issue, but he may be one of the first to tackle the issue by attempting to replace Kansas judges. At least, that's how Brownback's critics interpret his latest proposals concerning constitutional amendments.