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Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of PCP (Count 1), unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person convicted of a felony (Count 2), and using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense (Count 3). The DC Circuit reversed defendant's conviction on Counts 1 and 3, holding that the evidence was equivocal about his relationship to the PCP and his ability to exercise dominion and control over it. Therefore, the evidence was insufficient to show that he constructively possessed the PCP and thus insufficient to show a drug trafficking offense. The court affirmed defendant's conviction on Count 2, holding that his evidentiary and constitutional challenges did not warrant a reversal of his conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. View "United States v. Dorman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiffs, the parents of six children, filed suit against the District, alleging that it was violating the "Child Find" requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by failing to provide special education to their children and hundreds of other preschoolers with disabilities. The district court certified the suit as a class action and entered a comprehensive injunction designed to bring the District into compliance with the IDEA. The DC Circuit held that the case was not moot where it remains justiciable under United States Parole Commission v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388 (1980), and where the relation back doctrine applied in this case. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying subclasses pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2). Finally, the court rejected the District's challenges to the injunction, affirming the district court in all respects. View "DL v. District of Columbia" on Justia Law

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A group of Indian nationals filed suit against the IFC, alleging that a power plant financed by the IFC caused damage to surrounding communities in Gujarat, India. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint, holding that the IFC was immune to this suit under the International Organizations Immunities Act, 22 U.S.C. 288, and did not waive immunity for this suit in its Articles of Agreement. View "Jam v. International Finance Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: International Law

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Millennium petitioned to compel the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to act on Millennium's application for a water-quality certificate. The DC Circuit dismissed the petition for review, holding that, even if the Department has unlawfully delayed acting on Millennium's application, its inaction would operate as a waiver, enabling Millennium to bypass the Department and proceed to obtain approval from FERC. The court explained that the Department's delay caused Millennium no cognizable injury and thus Millennium lacked standing to proceed with its petition. View "Millennium Pipeline Co. v. Seggos" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a federal prisoner, filed a pro se petition seeking relief by way of writ from what he alleged to be an illegally imposed sentence. The DC Circuit rejected plaintiff's claims under the international doctrine of specialty and the international doctrine of dual criminality. Even assuming that 18 U.S.C. 3192 created an implied individual claim for relief and that the district court would have the authority to compel the President to perform this duty, the only relief that plaintiff seeks is release from a conviction and sentence which he claims were imposed in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States. The court explained that plaintiff's arguments classically described habeas relief. The court rejected plaintiff's remaining arguments and affirmed the district court's dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction. View "Day v. Trump" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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LPSC petitioned for review of FERC's rejection of LPSC's request to reform certain depreciation rates. The DC Circuit denied the petition for review and rejected LPSC's claim that FERC failed to confront its asserted evidence of undue discrimination where FERC fulfilled such obligations; FERC precedent did not require the use of FERC's own depreciation standards; and there has been no unlawful subdelegation because FERC has exercised, and intends to continue to exercise, its authority. View "Louisiana Public Service Commission v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Petitioners challenged the Commissions' approval of revisions to the rules governing the buying and selling of "capacity" for markets operated by PJM. The DC Circuit held that the Commission balanced the benefits of the revised rules against the increased costs and reached a reasoned judgment. Therefore, the Commission's decision was not arbitrary nor capricious. The court deferred to the Commission's interpretation of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824e, because its interpretation of the Act's requirements was reasonable; deferred to the Commission's balancing of competing concerns in setting a penalty rate; and rejected challenges to the default offer cap, the year-round capacity commitment, orders approving PJM's demand resource rules, and imposition of Capacity Performance penalties on resources that fail to perform due to unit-specific constraints. Accordingly, the court denied the petitions for review. View "Advanced Energy Management Alliance v. FERC" on Justia Law

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This case stems from the Herzog family's effort to recover a valuable art collection seized during the Holocaust. On remand, the district court concluded that the family's claims against the Republic of Hungary, its museums, and a state university satisfied the expropriation exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1604, and that no other provision of the Act barred their claims. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling that the Herzog family's claims to art never returned to them satisfied the Act's expropriation exception; remanded for the district court, with respect to art that was returned to the Herzog family, to determine whether the claim to recover each piece may proceed under the expropriation exception; instructed the district court to dismiss the Republic of Hungary as a defendant and to grant the Herzog family leave to amend their complaint in light of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act, Pub. L. 114–308, 130 Stat. 1524; and dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction Hungary's appeal from the denial of its motion to dismiss on exhaustion grounds. View "De Csepel v. Republic of Hungary" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the government based on claimants' lack of Article III standing in a civil forfeiture case. The court held that claimants met their burden of making an assertion of ownership and provided some evidence of ownership to establish standing. The court explained that credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts were jury functions and not those of a judge. In this case, the record was devoid of contradictory evidence, claimants consistently maintained that the money was theirs, nothing in their account was physically impossible, and the couple explained how they came to own the money in considerable detail. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "United States v. $17,900.00" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit contending that USAID and NOAA violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., by terminating his employment because of his national origin. He also contended that NOAA violated 18 U.S.C. 1001, which criminalizes false statements to the government, by lying about why he was terminated. The DC Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claim under section 1001 because the statute did not create a private right of action. The court determined that plaintiff's remaining contentions lacked merit and affirmed, with one modification of the order of dismissal. View "Lee v. USAID" on Justia Law