DC Circuit - The FindLaw DC Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Justice Department Takes a Shot at Judge in AT&T-Time Warner Merger

The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to throw out the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner deal.

Legal observers say the government has a losing argument against the mega-merger, which brings major television programming to AT&T's cable service DirectTV. But that hasn't stopped the government's lawyers.

Mary Wimberly took her best shot in United States of America v. AT&T, arguing that the trial judge made "errors of economic logic and reasoning." However, those are not typical grounds for appeal.

Appeals Court: No Religious Ads on Buses

The writing is on the wall for Pamela Geller, who sued a city bus service that rejected her anti-Muslim ad.

Technically, the Metro refused to put her ad on the side of its buses -- not the wall. But a federal appeals court upheld the bus service's policy in a similar case, and the writing is on the wall because Geller's case is pending.

In Archdiocese of Washington v. Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, the U.S. DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Transit Authority's rejection of an ad from the Catholic church. Not exactly the same as Geller's ad, but it is the same policy: no ads that "promote or oppose any religion, religious practice, or belief."

Court Sends Back Americans' Case Against Hezbollah

In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah militants killed more than 1,000 civilians in a bloody attack on Northern Israel.

After kidnapping and killing several Israeli soldiers, they fired thousands of rockets into civilian cities, towns, and villages. When it was over, nearly 2,000 people were dead.

Some years later, survivors sued for their injuries in Kaplan v. Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Unfortunately, their battles are not over.

Judge Stops Warnings on Cigar and Pipe Products

What do pregnant women and cigars have in common?

Hopefully, very little. But in legal arguments, almost anything is possible.

In Cigar Association of America v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a federal judge in Washington, DC stopped government-ordered health warnings on cigar and pipe products. Judge Amit Mehta said it's like a California case that says pregnancy counseling centers don't have to tell patients about abortion services.

Kavanaugh Going Up, DC Circuit Down?

With nearly 300 decisions, Judge Brett Kavanaugh had a productive run at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

But no good deed goes unpunished, and some of those decisions may become stumbling blocks when the Senate reviews his record during the confirmation process. It's not like any one will prove to be his undoing, however.

As most pundits have predicted, he will become the next justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The question here is, how will he fit in as he leaves the DC Circuit?

In an opinion out of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the massive pharma company Boehringer seems to have squeezed out a narrow victory in a rather large discovery dispute over attorney-client privileged communications between corporate employees and corporate attorneys.

And while the court upheld the district court's ruling that attorney-client privilege applied to the communications between employee and attorney, the underlying facts of the communication could nevertheless be fair game.

DC Judge Orders ICE to Stop Detaining Asylum Seekers

A federal judge ordered immigration officials to stop detaining legitimate asylum-seekers, ending the detention of many immigrants who have been held since President Trump took office.

Judge James Boasberg issued a preliminary injunction ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement to follow its own directive to release people pending their petitions for political asylum. In Damus v. Nielsen, the judge set out a process for ICE to release them until they get full hearings.

"Having extended the safeguards of the Parole Directive to asylum-seekers, ICE must now ensure that such protections are realized," he said.

Is Judge Brett Kavanaugh Bound for SCOTUS?

Long before Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, his potential replacement was already in the political hot seat.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former Kennedy clerk appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, had a tough time getting there. His confirmation was delayed for three years as opponents took aim at him.

Still, Kavanaugh is considered the frontrunner for Kennedy's spot. It makes sense, even though he may be going into a Senatorial lion's den.

The District of Columbia federal district court just ruled that the AT&T merger with Time Warner can move forward. The deal had been on hold for nearly a year and a half, and the massive ruling explicitly stated that if the government sought to stay the ruling pending appeal, the court would deny that motion.

While this merger has been a lightning rod for controversy since being announced in 2016, it seems that all the hoopla was for naught. The district court's opinion placed no conditions on the merger, unlike prior mergers between exclusive content license holders and media networks.

Court Quiets Silent Protest Case at Hillary Clinton Speech

Ray McGovern stood with the audience and then turned his back to Hillary Clinton as she spoke at George Washington University.

Printed on his shirt -- "Veterans for Peace" -- was his message. He stood there until two guards escorted him out of the room -- that's when his silent protest got ugly.

McGovern sued for constitutional violations, but a federal judge dismissed in McGovern v. Brown. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed, saying the officers had probable cause to arrest him.