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

November 2011 Archives

DC Circuit Says Pro-Union Discipline is Unfair Labor Practice

Here's a friendly Thanksgiving reminder from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): Disciplining an employee for being an outspoken union supporter is an unfair labor practice.

Manor Care of Easton, Pennsylvania clearly does not want its employees to unionize; the nursing home disciplined one of its employees, "outspoken union supporter" Trisha Miechur, after she started promoting unionization at work.

Top Five Things to Know About Judicial Nominee Caitlin Halligan

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Today's offering: Top five things to know about D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Caitlin Halligan.

FAA Application Omission Penalty Not Arbitrary or Capricious

Remember the character and fitness report? We took that questionnaire pretty seriously. That's because our law school mandated attendance at a second-year lecture at which a state bar representative told us that he could find anything that we thought we could hide.

Over-disclosure, he said, was safer than under-disclosure. And oh, did we over-disclose!

Lawyers, of course, aren't the only professionals who have to disclose every nitty-gritty detail to the background check overlords, so today we're looking at a case involving pilot background checks.

Courts Must Apply Presumption of Regularity to Enemy Combatants

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a Guantanamo detainee in a largely redacted case.

The circuit court found three errors in the lower court’s grant of habeas corpus to detainee Adnan Farhan Abd Al Latif. The court vacated and remanded the decision, instructing the district court to “evaluate Latif’s credibility as needed in light of the totality of the evidence, including newly available evidence.”

The D.C. Circuit specifically accused the district court of “overlooking the government’s expert evidence that [redacted]. By that theory, Latif could be any [redacted]. But the district court committed no clear error when, after considering the [redacted], it concluded the [redacted].”

DC Circuit Upholds Individual Mandate

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion this morning upholding the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act in Seven-Sky v. Holder. With a little luck - and a Supreme Court grant of certiorari - this will be the last time that we write about a circuit court ruling on the individual mandate.

The latest addition to the appellate opinion bank means that 6 of 13 appellate circuits have produced some kind of opinion on the Affordable Care Act, whether on the constitutionality of the individual mandate or standing to challenge the law.

We've all read more about the Act than we care to think about, so we'll wrap this case up with three things you should know about the DC Circuit's take on the individual mandate.

DC Cir. Decision Blows First Offshore Wind Farm Out of the Water

In a decision that will delay - or kill - a Cape Cod wind energy project, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently reminded us that a federal agency's departure from its own handbook is arbitrary and capricious.

Cape Wind Associates proposed building 130 wind turbines, each 440 feet tall, in a 25-square mile area of Nantucket Sound. If constructed, the project would be the nation's first offshore wind farm.

Plaintiffs Lack Standing in Ringling Bros. Animal Cruelty Case

Sara Gruen's New York Times best seller, Water for Elephants, addressed the issues of circus animal treatment and cruelty to elephants. The topic has become increasingly popular in recent years as protesters call for circus boycotts to condemn animal cruelty.

This week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs in a circus animal cruelty case lacked Article III standing to bring an Endangered Species Act (ESA) claim against Feld Entertainment, parent company of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.