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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's order, pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request, directing the government to release health insurance plans to be offered "each year" on the federal exchanges under the Affordable Care Act once their terms are effectively final, or "locked down." As a preliminary matter, the court held that the government's arguments were neither waived or forfeited. The court held that the district court failed to make a finding that the agency was adhering to a policy or practice that it acknowledged as impermissible nor did the district court find the agency was likely to continue on to impair Consumers' Checkbook's lawful access to the information in the future. Furthermore, the district court did not find that the agency invoked Exemption 4 solely for purposes of delay, effectively flaunting the statutory scheme, much less that its invocation was frivolous on its face. View "Center for the Study of Services v. HHS" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit dismissed the petition for review of the EPA's modification, without notice and comment, of prior understandings of how to measure a proposed transportation project’s impact on ambient levels of PM2.5 and PM10. PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter and PM10 is particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter. In regard to PM2.5, the court held that it lacked standing because petitioners have shown no instance where the change would be likely to have any adverse effect on them or their members. In regard to PM10, the court held that the EPA's new provisions were not binding on the agency or affected parties and therefore did not constitute a final action within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7607(b)(1). View "Sierra Club v. EPA" on Justia Law

Posted in: Environmental Law

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The DC Circuit denied the petition for review of the FCC's decision regarding the nationwide emergency alert system. Under the FCC's decision, when broadcasters receive emergency alerts from government entities, the broadcasters may, if they choose, broadcast the alerts only in English. The court held that Section 1 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 151, does not obligate the FCC to require broadcasters to translate emergency alerts and broadcast them in languages in addition to English. The court further held that it was not unreasonable for the FCC to gather more information from relevant parties before deciding whether to compel broadcasters to translate emergency alerts and broadcast them in languages in addition to English. View "Multicultural Media v. FCC" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the Commission's decision to sustain FINRA's decision to permanently bar him from membership and from working with any of its affiliated members. The DC Circuit held that the Commission reasonably grounded its decision in the record, which extensively evidenced petitioner's acts of misappropriation, his prolonged efforts to cover his tracks through falsehoods, and his repeated and deliberate obstruction of investigators. The court remanded with respect to the permanent bar on petitioner's registration with FINRA and affiliation with its members for the Commission to determine in the first instance whether Kokesh v. SEC, 137 S. Ct. 1635 (2017), has any bearing on his case. View "Saad v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants, alleging breach of contract, defamation, and tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. In this case, plaintiff believed that she had voluntarily withdrawn from her postgraduate clinical research fellowship, but defendants reported to plaintiff's employer, the US Air Force, that she had been terminated for cause. The DC Circuit held that, because there was a genuine factual dispute as to whether defendants gave plaintiff's employer false information, the district court incorrectly granted summary judgment on the defamation claims. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded as to those claims. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the remaining claims. View "Burns v. Levy" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Appellant Glover and Price's petition to vacate their convictions under 28 U.S.C. 2255. Appellants were convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute one kilogram or more of PCP. The court held that counsel did not perform deficiently for failing to challenge evidence obtained from an electronic surveillance device installed in a vehicle outside of the authorizing court's geographic jurisdiction. In this case, the evidence against appellants was sufficiently strong that counsel's failure to object to specific instances of testimony by a case agent did not prejudice the defense. View "United States v. Glover" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of Bread for the City's complaint for failure to state a cause of action. Bread for the City alleged that the Department spent hundreds of millions of dollars less than the law required on a program to provide food for the needy. The district court upheld the Department's interpretation of 7 U.S.C. 2036(a), a spending provision in The Emergency Food Assistance Program, as modified by the Agriculture Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-79, 4027(a), 128 Stat. 649, 812. The court held that the available evidence showed that those intimately involved in determining the spending levels of the Program did not support Bread for the City's version of section 2036(a). View "Bread for the City v. USDA" on Justia Law

Posted in: Agriculture Law

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After the SEC determined that petitioner's conduct violated various securities-fraud provisions, the DC Circuit upheld the Commission's findings that the statements in petitioner's emails were false or misleading and that he possessed the requisite intent. However, the court held that petitioner did not "make" false statements for purposes of Rule 10b-5(b) of the Securities Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78j, because petitioner's boss, and not petitioner himself, retained "ultimate authority" over the statements. The court reasoned that, while petitioner's boss was the "maker" of the false statements, petitioner played an active role in perpetrating the fraud by folding the statements into emails he sent directly to investors in his capacity as director of investment banking, and by doing so with an intent to deceive. Therefore, petitioner's conduct infringed the other securities-fraud provisions he was charged with violating. The court set aside sanctions and remanded for the Commission to reassess the appropriate remedies. Accordingly, the court granted the petition for review in part, vacated the sanctions, and remanded. View "Lorenzo v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The Animal Welfare Act's (AWA), 7 U.S.C. 2133, compliance demonstration requirement does not unambiguously preclude USDA's license renewal scheme and the scheme is not facially unreasonable. In this case, plaintiffs filed suit challenging the USDA's most recent renewal of a license for animal exhibitors (Cricket Hollow Zoo), alleging that, at the time of the renewal, the agency was aware that Cricket Hollow was in violation of numerous animal welfare requirements under the Act and its implementing regulations. The DC Circuit held that the agency's renewal scheme was consistent with the demonstration requirement in section 2133. Because the agency's decision to renew the Cricket Hollow Zoo license was made in compliance with that regulatory scheme, it was not inconsistent with the Act. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's judgment on the statutory claim; vacated the district court's order granting the Government's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' arbitrary and capricious claim; and remanded to the district court with instructions to remand the record to the agency for further proceedings. View "Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Perdue" on Justia Law

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The City petitioned for review of the FAA's letter, characterizing it as a final order, that addressed the noise complaints stemming from its change of flight routes in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The DC Circuit held that petitioners had reasonable grounds for their delay in filing and reached the merits of their petitions. The court also held that the FAA's approval of the new flight routes was arbitrary and capricious and violated the National Historic Preservation Act because the FAA's failure to notify and provide documentation to the City of the agency’s finding of no adverse impact denied the City its right to participate in the process and object to the findings. The FAA also violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Department of Transportation Act; and the FAA's Order 1050.1E. Accordingly, the court granted the petitions for review, vacated the FAA's September 18, 2014 order implementing the new flight routes and procedures, and remanded. View "Phoenix v. Huerta" on Justia Law