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

August 2012 Archives

How Does the D.C. Circuit Cope with Hurricane Season?

As Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac threatened the Republican National Convention in Tampa and battered New Orleans this week, we were reminded that it is once again hurricane season.

For the good folks on the Gulf Coast, hurricane preparations are a way of life. Growing up in Louisiana, we expected schools and government offices to close multiple times throughout the later summer/early fall. When we moved to D.C., government closures seemed like a thing of the past.

While hurricanes don't regularly flood the streets of the Capital, they do occasionally make their way to the Mid-Atlantic. (Remember last year's Hurricane Irene?) Rest assured, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has planned for such situations.

D.C. Circuit: Feds Can Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the government can continue funding embryonic stem cell research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), despite claims that the work destroys human embryos, reports The Washington Post.

Opponents argued that embryonic stem cell research violates the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law, which prohibits federal funding for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.”

FDA Gets Burned in Graphic Warning Label Appeal

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nixed new graphic warning label requirements for cigarettes on Friday, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Because the government didn’t provide evidence that the graphic warning labels would lower smoking rates, the appellate court found that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed the Central Hudson intermediate scrutiny test.

DC Circuit Rejects EPA Good Neighbor Rule

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Environmental Protection Agency's "Good Neighbor" rule this week, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The appellate court, in a 2-1 decision, concluded that the EPA had overstepped its authority by issuing federal pollution standards before states had a chance to develop their own and by calling for greater-than-necessary emissions reductions.

Entergy Arkansas, Mississippi Win Exit Fees Challenge

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that Arkansas and Mississippi Entergy companies don't have to pay exit fees for opting out of a decades-old Entergy agreement, reports The Associated Press.

The Entergy System Agreement establishes the operating framework for the six Entergy companies servicing Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (the Operating Companies).


NRC Stops Issuing Nuclear Reactor Licenses... For Now

A June decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is making waves now, after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) decided to stay the issuance of at least nineteen final reactor licenses.

The D.C. Circuit decision, which came down on June 8, rejected the NRC rule that allowed licensing and re-licensing of nuclear reactors. The NRC’s licensing rule was based largely on the NRC’s prospects of temporary storage and permanent disposal of nuclear waste.

Federal Employees Abroad Entitled to Protections of ADEA

Age discrimination laws apply to federal employees, even if the employees are stationed abroad.

That’s what the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals says, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The case before the court involved a forced retirement and the protections normally afforded to federal employees. The real issue arose when a federal employee was treated in a manner consistent with the laws of the country where he was stationed.

DC Circuit Denies Emergency Motion to Broadcasters on Campaign Ads

It’s election year, and with the election approaching, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is not swaying on the requirement that broadcast television stations post details of political advertising transactions online.

The National Association of Broadcasters brought a petition to stop the requirement from kicking in. It filed an emergency motion to stay the rules. But the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied that motion on July 27.