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Felons are not among the law-abiding, responsible citizens entitled to the protections of the Second Amendment. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's action seeking to enjoin the enforcement of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), which prohibits anyone convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year from owning firearms for life. The court held that, in this applied challenge, plaintiff failed to show facts about his conviction that distinguished him from other convicted felons encompassed by the section 922(g)(1) prohibition. In this case, plaintiff was convicted as a felon for falsifying his income on mortgage applications twenty-seven years ago. View "Medina v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied North Carolina's petition for review of FERC's orders involving the relicensing of the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project No. 2197. North Carolina alleged that the license applicant, Alcoa, misrepresented its plans to discontinue the use of project power for industrial production at Badin Works, a major source of employment in the state. The court held that substantial evidence supported FERC's decision and contradicted the existence of any deficiencies or deception in Alcoa's application. In this case, Alcoa disclosed the curtailment of industrial production at Badin Works every step of the way, from its initial filing of intent to relicense, through its various correspondences with FERC, to the license application itself. Furthermore, nothing in the record demonstrated that Alcoa had any nefarious intent to deceive FERC or the public at large. The court also held that North Carolina's recapture proposal lacked any basis in the law. Finally, the court held that, while the loss of jobs caused by the permanent closure of Badin Works did affect public interest, FERC had already accounted for its impact. View "North Carolina v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Representatives of the estates of black male farmers sought to submit claims of past discrimination in agricultural credit programs to a claims-processing framework set up to resolve Hispanic and female farmers' credit discrimination claims. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action, holding that representatives lacked standing to challenge the framework because they have no live underlying credit discrimination claims to present. In this case, representatives never submitted claims in the Black Farmers remedial process, but instead sought to present their claims in the parallel framework for claims of discrimination against women and/or Hispanic farmers. Therefore, the harm representatives asserted from being excluded was not redressable. Furthermore, representatives' claims were time barred and, even if the claims were not time barred, any credit discrimination claim a member of the Black Farmers plaintiff class may have had during the relevant period, whether or not actually pursued in the remedial process established under the Black Farmers' consent decree, was now precluded by that decree, or, for any member who opted out, time barred. View "Estate of Earnest Lee Boyland v. United States Department of Agriculture" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied SDG&E's petition for review of FERC's declaratory order applying FERC's cancelled or abandoned electricity transmission facilities incentive, 18 C.F.R. 35.35(d)(1)(vi) (Abandonment Incentive), only prospectively, to investments that had yet to occur. Determining that it had jurisdiction over the appeal, the court agreed with the Commission's finding that SDG&E failed to establish the requisite nexus between the Abandonment Incentive and costs it already incurred before it obtained the declaratory order. The court held that the Commission's finding was supported by substantial evidence and its approach comported with both the Federal Power Act and the Incentive Rule. Furthermore, the court found SDG&E's several objections unpersuasive. View "San Diego Gas & Electric Co v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Assuming the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act's immunity applies, the DC Circuit held that it leaves intact the district courts' subject-matter jurisdiction over federal criminal cases involving foreign sovereigns. The court affirmed the district court's order holding the subpoena's target, a corporation owned by a foreign sovereign, in contempt for failure to comply. In this case, the court held that there was a reasonable probability the information sought through the subpoena at issue concerned a commercial activity that caused a direct effect in the United States. The court held that the Act, even where it applies, allows courts to exercise jurisdiction over such activities and the ancillary challenges in this appeal lacked merit. View "In re: Grand Jury Subpoena" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit vacated defendant's sentence after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity, one count of accessory after the fact for the murder of an officer or employee of the United States, and one count of accessory after the fact to the attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States. The court held that, even if the district court had intended to consider defendant's murder of a Mexican national in Mexico as relevant conduct under USSG 1B1.3(a)(1)(A), it would not have been able to do so because the relevant conduct Guidelines could not be used to calculate the base offense level of an act that did not qualify as "racketeering activity." The error sufficiently prejudiced defendant, and the court remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Flores" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Survivors filed suit against the Republic of Hungary and Hungary's state-owned railway company, seeking compensation for the seizure and expropriation of Survivors' property as part of the Hungarian government's genocidal campaign. The DC Circuit held that the district court erred by dismissing the case on remand. The court held that the district court erred by dismissing the case on international comity grounds where the court's recent decision in Philipp v. Federal Republic of Germany, 894 F.3d 406 (D.C. Cir. 2018), squarely rejected the asserted comity-based ground for declining statutorily assigned jurisdiction. In regard to the dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds, the court held that the district court committed material legal errors at each step of its analysis. The court explained that there was far too little in this record to designate Hungary as a more convenient forum than the one chosen by the Survivors. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Simon v. Republic of Hungary" on Justia Law

Posted in: International Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint challenging the Committee's denial of his application to sit for the DC Bar Examination. The court held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not apply because plaintiff did not ask the district court to review and reject the Superior Court's dismissal of the state complaint; the court need not decide whether the Younger doctrine applied at the time of the district court's decision because plaintiff's state court proceedings were not currently ongoing; and the DC doctrine of res judicata did not apply because the state complaint was dismissed based on lack of jurisdiction, rather than on the merits. View "Jackson v. Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The DC Circuit affirmed, on alternative grounds, the district court's denial of defendant's motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255. The district court denied the motion on the merits. The court held, however, that defendant procedurally defaulted on his claim by failing to preserve it for review and failed to demonstrate the prejudice necessary to obtain post-conviction relief. In this case, the district court's application of USSG 3C1.2 had no effect on the sentence imposed. View "United States v. Hicks" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The right-to-control element of the Board's joint-employer standard has deep roots in the common law. Furthermore, the common law permits consideration of those forms of indirect control that play a relevant part in determining the essential terms and conditions of employment. The DC Circuit affirmed the Board's articulation of the joint-employer test as including consideration of both an employer's reserved right to control and its indirect control over employees' terms and conditions of employment. In this case, the court held that the Board did not confine its consideration of indirect control consistently with common law limitations. Therefore, the court granted the petition for review in part, denied the cross-application for enforcement, dismissed without prejudice the application for enforcement as to Leadpoint, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law