CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

October 2011 Archives

Judge Dismisses Congressional Lawsuit Over Libya Campaign

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by ten congressmen alleging that the United States' participation in the military campaign in Libya violated the War Powers Clause of the United States Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. The judge determined that the congressmen lacked standing to file the lawsuit since they had the ability to address the situation through legislative channels.

Appeals Court Blocks Portions of Alabama Immigration Law

A panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked two portions of the controversial Alabama immigration law from going into effect, but has allowed the state to begin enforcing other parts of the law. The panel found that the United States had met its burden for an injunction pending appeal in regards to the sections of the law that create a misdemeanor offense for failing to carry an alien registration document and require school officials to determine whether incoming children are immigrants of the children of immigrants and evaluate whether they qualify for English as a second language or other remedial language classes.

Iranians Charged With Saudi Assassination Plot

The United States has charged two Iranian citizens with plotting the assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States. In addition, the US government alleges that elements of the Iranian government directed the plot, which involved a planned explosive attack on the ambassador while in the territory of the United States.

Health and Environmental Groups Seek Review of Obama Smog Decision

A coalition of health and environmental groups have filed a petition with the federal court of appeals in the District of Columbia requesting a review of the Obama administration's decision to withdraw stricter regulations of smog-causing ozone emissions.
The United States government filed an emergency motion with the 11th Circuit on October 7, 2011 asking the court to enjoin portions of Alabama's controversial new immigration law while the issue is on appeal. The Department of Justice argued in its motion that the state law encroaches on an area of the law under the exclusive control of the federal government. The district court in the case had previously denied the DoJ's multiple requests for injunctions.

DC Circuit Rejects Challenge to DC Gun Laws

The DC Circuit has upheld the gun laws passed by the District of Columbia after the Supreme Court struck down prior DC firearm regulations. The laws at issue in the suit imposed registration requirements and prohibited assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The court found that the laws did not violate the Second Amendment.

Environmental Groups Sue Over TransCanada Pipeline

A coalition of environmental organizations has filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking to stop work on TransCanada's Keystone oil pipeline. The groups allege that TransCanada received authorization to begin work on the pipeline, which will transport crude from oil sands in Alberta to refineries in Texas, from the Department of Fish and Wildlife before the State Department had issued a final approval for the project. The groups allege that this violated a federal law preventing the commencement of project work before issuance of a final approval.