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The DC Circuit denied petitions for review of the Commission's two orders directing the Postal Service to include among the "costs attributable" to competitive products those costs that would disappear were the Postal Service to stop offering those products for sale. Petitioner, UPS, argued that the cost attribution methodology the Commission used was both inconsistent with the statute that gives the Commission its regulatory authority and arbitrary and capricious. The court held that the orders did not conflict with the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, because the Commission's reading of "institutional costs" was reasonable; UPS failed to show that the Accountability Act unambiguously compelled a reading of "indirect postal costs" that included only those costs that were shared across products; and Chevron deference was appropriate in this case. The court also held that the orders were not arbitrary, capricious, nor an abuse of discretion, because the Commission properly recognized that its role was to carry out the particulars of the scheme Congress created, not to engineer specific market outcomes. Finally, the Commission's adoption of an incremental-cost approach to attribution was not arbitrary nor capricious. View "United Parcel Service, Inc. v. PRC" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the Tax Court's holding that Mellow was subject to the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), 26 U.S.C. 6221–6234 (2012), proceedings. The court held that the record made clear that Mellow's partners were the single-member LLCs, not their individual owners; the court deferred to the IRS's reasonable interpretation of its own regulation that a partnership with pass-thru partners was ineligible for the small-partnership exception and that single-member LLCs constitute pass-thru partners; and the court lacked jurisdiction over Mellow's challenge to the penalties because Mellow failed to raise its claim and waived its claim by consenting to a decision applying penalties. View "Mellow Partners v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Tax Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed in part, reversed in part, and vacated in part defendant's resentence. The court held that his challenges to the firearm and role-in-the-offense enhancements were meritorious because the district court plainly erred in applying them. However, defendant's challenge to the drug quantity determination failed because the district court adequately explained its judgment and its findings were supported by the record. The court vacated and remanded the sentence on the RICO conspiracy count because the parties agreed that the district court erred in stating that the Sentencing Guidelines range for the RICO conspiracy was life, rather than 360 months to life. The court remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Miller" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Petitioners challenged EPA's final rule listing the West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination Site on the National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites that are high priorities for remedial action. The DC Circuit held that the listing of the site was arbitrary and capricious where EPA failed to consider an important aspect of the problem regarding the treatment of two aquifers by entirely failing to address evidence that runs counter to the agency's decision. The court also held that EPA has failed to offer substantial evidence to support its finding of an interconnection between the aquifers, it has ignored evidence undercutting its conclusion, and it has failed to state a reasoned basis for overcoming the regulatory presumption of non-interconnection. The court rejected petitioners' claim that the rule should be vacated based on EPA's failure to take into account the direction of ground water flow. Therefore, the court granted the petitions for review, vacated the rule to the extent that it placed the Site on the NPL, and remanded to EPA for further proceedings. View "Genuine Parts Co. v. EPA" on Justia Law

Posted in: Environmental Law

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Petitioner challenged the Board's finding that it violated the unilateral change doctrine and the duty to provide relevant information during negotiations with its employees' bargaining representatives, SEIU, 121RN, and UHW. At issue in this appeal were the unfair labor practice charges filed by 121RN. The DC Circuit agreed with the Board that petitioner breached its duty to bargain when it unilaterally terminated employee anniversary step increases after the expiration of the parties' agreement. The court also held that the Board's conclusion that 121RN had no duty to provide any further explanation to justify the relevance of its employee health care program information requests was supported by substantial evidence. View "Prime Healthcare Services-Encino LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Liquidators petitioned for writ of mandamus to compel the DC district court's compliance with a Second Circuit mandate in an action involving claims to $6.8 million of alleged illegal proceeds from a New York bank account in the name of Kesten Development Corporation. The Second Circuit held that enforcement of Brazil's criminal forfeiture order violated the penal law rule barring United States courts from enforcing the penal laws of foreign countries. The court held that the proper standard of review in this case was the same as all mandamus cases and applied the Cheney factors. Applying the first Cheney factor, the court held that Liquidators have no right to relief and thus failed to satisfy the legal standard for obtaining mandamus. View "In Re: Trade and Commerce Bank" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment against plaintiff in an action alleging that his supervisors at the EPA discriminated against him because of his age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621–634. The court held that there was no excuse for plaintiff's noncompliance with an EEOC regulation requiring a federal employee to contact a counselor within 45 days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory. In regard to plaintiff's timely claims of age discrimination, the court held that he failed to establish that he suffered an adverse employment action where each of his claims did not cause objectively tangible harm of the sort that would render them adverse employment actions. In regard to the retaliation claims, the court held that plaintiff failed to show a causal connection between the reassignment of his agents and his protected activities. View "Drielak v. Pruitt" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit granted a petition for review of the differential treatment by Galveston Port to petitioners, who operate shuttle buses, as compared to taxis and limos. The court held that the FMC's decision accepting that shuttle buses were treated differently than taxis and limos was not sustainable. In this case, petitioners were plainly injured when they were charged more than the other commercial passenger vehicles and the FMC never determined whether the Port justified the differential treatment based on legitimate transportation factors. The court vacated FMC's orders and remanded for further proceedings. View "Santa Fe Discount Cruise Parking v. FMC" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied a petition for review of the Secretary of Transportation's award of a foreign air carrier permit to Norwegian Air International Limited. Petitioners, four airline-employee unions, argued that the airline's business model and labor practices were not in the public interest. The court held that the unions have Article III standing to challenge the Secretary's decision. The court held, on the merits, that their petition failed because neither federal law nor international agreement required the Secretary to deny a permit on freestanding public-interest grounds where, as here, an applicant satisfied the requirements for obtaining a permit. View "Air Line Pilots Association v. Chao" on Justia Law

Posted in: Aviation

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Appellee, a United States citizen who has been detained by the United States military in Iraq for several months, sought release from military custody in a habeas corpus action. While the habeas petition remained pending, appellee argued that the government could not forcibly -- and irrevocably -- transfer him to the custody of another country. The DC Circuit sustained the district court's two orders: the first requiring the government to give 72 hours' notice before transferring appellee to the custody of another country; and the second enjoining the government from effecting a transfer to another country after the government reached an agreement with that country to transfer appellee to its custody. The court held that the government did not possess the authority to forcibly transfer a U.S. citizen to a different foreign country than the one in which she is already present nor to forcibly transfer as long as the receiving country has some legitimate sovereign interest in her (whether or not related to criminal prosecution). View "Doe v. James Mattis" on Justia Law