Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Construction Law

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GSS appealed the district court’s dismissal of its second attempt to confirm a $44 million arbitral award entered against the Port Authority for breach of a construction contract. GSS first tried to confirm the award, but the district court found that it had no personal jurisdiction over the Port Authority. Then GSS filed its second petition, also naming the Republic of Liberia, which owns the Port Authority, as respondents. The district court again dismissed GSS’s petition, finding that issue preclusion barred relitigating its personal jurisdiction over the Port Authority and that GSS failed to demonstrate that Liberia was liable for the Port Authority’s alleged breach. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the claims against Liberia for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. 1330 et seq.; affirmed the district court's dismissal of GSS's petition against the Port Authority on sovereign immunities grounds; and concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing GSS's petition before allowing jurisdictional discovery. View "GSS Group Ltd. v. Republic of Liberia" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his employer, Amtrak, alleging that it discriminated against him because of his race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., and District of Columbia law. The district court granted summary judgment to Amtrak. After the engine plaintiff was driving passed a stop signal at the rail yard and was forced off the rails by a safety derailer, Amtrak fired him and suspended his engineer certificate. The court affirmed the judgment, concluding that no jury could reasonably conclude based on the evidence in the record that Amtrak was motivated by plaintiff's race to take the adverse actions of which he complains. View "Burley v. Nat'l Passenger Rail Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit challenging the religious exemption in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119, as an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Plaintiff also argued that the Administration’s decision to temporarily suspend enforcement of some of the Act’s requirements for a transitional period deprived him of the equal protection of the laws. The district court granted the government's motion to dismiss and held that plaintiff lacked standing to bring either claim. The court agreed with the district court that plaintiff lacks standing to assert his equal protection claim because nothing in the transitional policy requires him to buy insurance. In this case, plaintiff's inability to maintain his old plan was the independent choice of his insurer. The court concluded, however, that plaintiff did have standing to bring his Establishment Clause challenge. On the merits, the court concluded that the claim fails because the qualifications for exemption are not drawn on sectarian lines. Rather, they simply sort out which faiths have a proven track record of adequately meeting the statutory goals. Moreover, the exemption promotes the Establishment Clause’s concerns by ensuring that those without religious objections do not bear the financial risk and price of care for those who exempt themselves from the tax. As configured by this specific statutory framework, that is an objective, non-sectarian basis for cabining the exemption’s reach. View "Cutler v. HHS" on Justia Law

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In 2008, the EPA issued a rule regulating renovation and remodeling activities that create health hazards arising from lead paint. The rule contained an "opt-out" provision, which exempted owner-occupied housing from the rule's requirements if the homeowner certified that no pregnant women or young children lived there. In 2010, EPA amended the rule to eliminate the opt-out provision. The National Association of Home Builders and other trade associations petitioned for review of the amended rule, arguing (1) the decision to abandon the opt-out provision was arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the APA; and (2) EPA failed to convene a panel of representatives of small businesses before issuing the new rule, in violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for review, holding (1) EPA's decision was not arbitrary or capricious; and (2) the Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the petitioners' second challenge. View "Nat'l Ass'n of Home Builders v. EPA " on Justia Law