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In previous decisions, the DC Circuit held that, notwithstanding the lapse of a Board quorum, Regional Directors retain authority to direct elections administered under a so-called stipulated election agreement—an agreement under which the employer and union agree to have a Regional Director conduct the election, but subject to the possibility of Board review if a party opts to seek it. This case involved a consent election agreement, rather than a stipulated election agreement. At issue was whether a Regional Director, if the Board itself had lost power to take any action, could exercise Board-delegated authority to conduct a representation election and certify the results. After remand, the court held that the Board's understanding of the statute was reasonable where the Board saw no salient difference between consent election agreements and stipulated election agreements. The court rejected Barstow's various challenges to the Board's finding of unfair labor practices and to the remedies imposed by the Board. Accordingly, the court denied Barstow's petition for review. View "Hospital of Barstow, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Appellant, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada and incarcerated in the United States where he was convicted of a felony, sought a transfer under a treaty between the United States and Canada to a Canadian prison. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint and held that the government's self-execution argument was non-jurisdictional and thus did not affect the court's subject matter jurisdiction to consider appellant's case under 28 U.S.C. 1331; even assuming the treaty was not self-executing, the government's position that appellant must rely exclusively on the implementing legislation was flawed, because the text and legislative history of the treaty and the legislation showed that the latter incorporated the substantive standards of the former, making those standards part of domestic law; the treaty provision on which appellant relied provides law to apply, although the scope of judicial review was narrow, limited to the terms of that provision and not reaching the correctness of the assessment or the outcome; and consistent with the narrow scope of judicial review, the denial of appellant's transfer was not arbitrary and capricious. View "Sluss v. DOJ" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company in a breach of contract dispute over a homeowners insurance policy. The court held that plaintiffs could not recover under the clear terms of their insurance policy where plaintiffs were away from their beach home for ten days and failed to shut off the water supply where it entered the house. In this case, there was no question that the damage for which they sought coverage was caused by flooding from the plumbing. The court also affirmed the district court's transfer of the claims against the cleaning-and-restoration company to the district court in Delaware based on lack of personal jurisdiction. View "Katopothis v. Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed a pretrial detention order that was issued after release was revoked because of Paul Manafort's alleged commission of new crimes of witness tampering while he was on release. The Government contended that Manafort repeatedly contacted two witnesses, in violation of the district court's gag order, in an effort to secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group. The court found no clear error in the district court's finding that Manafort was unlikely to abide by any conditions of release. The court agreed with Manafort that the district court's finding that his communications violated the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia's Stay-Away Order was problematic. However, the court found no clear error in the district court's ultimate finding that there were no conditions that would assure that Manafort would comply with the most fundamental condition of release under the Bail Reform Act: that he not commit a Federal, State, or local crime during the period of release. View "United States v. Manafort" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Following Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia, 515 U.S. 819, 831 (1995), WMATA may exclude religion as a subject matter from its advertising space. The Archdiocese filed suit challenging Guideline 12 of WMATA's Guidelines Governing Commercial Advertising, which prohibited advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice, or belief. The Archdiocese alleged that Guideline 12 violated the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and sought a mandatory preliminary injunction. The DC Circuit held that the Archdiocese failed to show that WMATA was impermissibly suppressing its viewpoint on an otherwise permitted subject, and its claim of discriminatory treatment was based on hypothesis. The court also held that the Archdiocese failed to meet the demanding standard for a mandatory preliminary injunction because it failed to demonstrate a likelihood of prevailing on the merits or that the equities weigh favorably for an injunction. View "Archdiocese of Washington v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority" on Justia Law

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United States nationals, victims of al Qaeda attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, filed suit against the French bank BNP Paribas for damages under the AntiTerrorism Act (ATA), alleging that the bank provided financial assistance to Sudan, which in turn funded and otherwise supported al Qaeda's attack. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the suit based on failure to state a claim, holding that the victims failed to adequately allege that they were injured "by reason of" the bank's acts and could not state a claim for relief based on a theory of primary liability under the ATA. The court also held that the ATA did not permit recovery for claims premised on aiding and abetting liability. View "Owens v. BNP Paribas, SA" on Justia Law

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After the IRS refused to grant the foreign shipping corporation Good Fortune an exemption to some of its U.S.-based income from taxation, the tax court ruled in favor of the IRS. The DC Circuit reversed, holding that the IRS's interpretation of Internal Revenue Code 883 in the 2003 Regulation was unreasonable and could not stand. Even if the IRS reasonably concluded that sometimes—maybe oftentimes—bearer shares were incapable of proving the residence of their owners, the court held that the 2003 Regulation's categorical bar on considering bearer shares did not follow from that premise. The court explained that the IRS has not justified treating all bearer shares as incapable of proving ownership; and if some corporations' bearer shares were not kept in record form, and thus were not capable of proving the location of an owner, then the IRS should have identified those corporations' shares and tailored its rule accordingly. View "Good Fortune Shipping SA v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a single-leg amputee, filed suit against his employer, ARE, alleging claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Plaintiff was awarded damages for ARE's failure to accommodate his disability by refusing his request to teach on a lower floor. At issue in this appeal was whether ARE failed to reasonably accommodate plaintiff's disability by refusing his request for a classroom aide, and whether ARE's failures to accommodate his disability created a hostile work environment. The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's conclusion that plaintiff had not proffered sufficient undisputed facts for his hostile-work environment claim to survive summary judgment. However, the court reversed the district court's judgment as to the remaining failure-to-accommodate claim, because plaintiff's allegations presented a triable issue of fact as to whether ARE violated the ADA when it refused his request for a classroom aide. View "Hill v. Associates for Renewal in Education, Inc." on Justia Law

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Petitioners challenged FERC's approval of an application from Algonquin to undertake an upgrade to its natural gas pipeline system. The DC Circuit dismissed the Delegation's petition for review for lack of jurisdiction because the Delegation failed to establish that it had standing to seek review of the Commission's decision where its individual members did not suffer an injury in fact from the pipeline project. The court held that the remaining petitioners adequately demonstrated standing and thus reached the merits of their petitions. On the merits, the court held that the Commission did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in declining to consider Algonquin's three projects in a single environmental impact statement. The court explained that, for purposes of the AIM Project, the Commission adequately considered the cumulative impacts of the other two projects based on the information then available to the agency. The court also held that the Commission gave adequate consideration to the cumulative environmental impacts of the three upgrade projects. View "City of Boston Delegation v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a former government contractor with security clearance, filed suit raising numerous constitutional and security claims after his security clearance was revoked. The district court dismissed 23 counts, partially dismissed Count 21 and granted summary judgment to the government on the remainder of that count, and ordered plaintiff to file a more definite statement about the other six counts (Counts 23-27 and 29). The district court later granted summary judgment for the government as to those six counts. As to the frivolous constitutional claims, they were barred by Department of Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518 (1988). As to the Privacy Act claims, the court affirmed the dismissal of the claims because they failed on the merits. As to the Due Process Claims under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), they were properly dismissed because the officials were entitled to qualified immunity. As to challenges to the DOHA proceeding, the court assumed without deciding that plaintiff had a cognizable liberty interest but that his claim was not viable. As to claims of illegal search and claims under the Store Communications Act, the district court correctly dismissed these counts for failure to state a claim. Finally, as to claims of unlawful interrogation, the district court properly concluded that plaintiff failed to establish personal jurisdiction of the defendants. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Palmieri v. United States" on Justia Law