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December 2013 Archives

10 Things the D.C. Circuit Taught Us in 2013

Here we are already, rounding the corner to 2014. It seems like 2013 flew by, but the D.C. Circuit saw a good deal of action in that time.

As we gear up for yet another year of D.C. jurisprudence, let's relive some of the lessons the D.C. Circuit taught us in 2013:

NSA Verizon Metadata Program Slammed by Court

The D.C. District Court ruled on Monday that the NSA's efforts in collecting phone metadata nationwide are most likely unconstitutional.

In Klayman v. Obama, the District Court Judge Richard J. Leon laid out a scathing, 68-page opinion outlining the myriad reasons why he believed a preliminary injunction was proper to block the NSA's phone surveillance -- largely because he agreed that Klayman was likely to succeed on the merits of his constitutional claims, reports The Washington Post.

Why is this district court decision so different than the past NSA cases?

Nina Pillard Confirmed, Changes to D.C. Circuit to Follow?

D.C. Circuit nominee Nina Pillard was confirmed on Thursday morning, making her the second Obama nominee to be confirmed to the Court since the filibuster reform.

At around 1 a.m. in D.C., the Senate confirmed Pillard by a vote of 51-44, reports The Associated Press. This was after hearing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) do his best Scrooge impression and tell the collected Senators that they would be "work[ing] though Christmas" if these confirmations didn't go as planned.

But will Pillard's addition to the court be that much of a bah-humbug change?

EPA's New Ozone Standards Upheld

The EPA's newest change to ozone standards was upheld by the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday, with both environmentalists and industry heads failing to convince the court to revoke the agency's rule.

In Mississippi v. EPA, the court reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guidelines for the amount of ozone (O3) that is acceptable under the Clean Air Act. The EPA was being criticized for the standard being too low ... and too high, but the court found their judgment good enough for government work.

So, how much ozone is too much?

After Filibuster Changes, D.C. Circuit Nominee Vote Redux

With the "nuclear option" engaged and filibuster rules amended, Senate Democrats have begun the second phase of the plan: voting on the three Obama nominees to the D.C. Circuit.

On Tuesday, the Senate took that step by confirming Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit bench, the first of the three nominees to the Court to be pushed aside by Republican filibuster in late October and November, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Will the new filibuster rules allow Pillard and Wilkins to join the D.C. Circuit bench as well?

Alleged Al Qaeda Member Denied Habeas Relief

Guantanamo detainee and alleged al Qaeda member Abdul Razak Ali was denied habeas relief by the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday, noting that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to detain an enemy combatant.

In the latest appeal in Abdul Razak Ali v. Obama, Ali claimed that when he was captured in an al Qaeda camp in Pakistan in 2002, that it was really just a case of wrong place/wrong time.

The D.C. Circuit did not buy it.

Esquire Wins Battle for Satire in 'Birther' Suit

The D.C. Circuit ruled for Esquire Magazine on Tuesday, putting the final nail in a defamation suit against the publication for satirizing a "birther" book's release.

Larry Klayman, the attorney for "birther" publisher and conservative website founder Joseph Farah, called the court's decision to uphold the lower court's dismissal of the case "dishonest," reports Examiner.com.

What exactly did the court think of Esquire's article?