2021 D.C. Circuit US Court of Appeals Case Law

In re: al-Tamir  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1212

Justia Opinion Summary: A military commission was convened to try al-Tamir, apprehended in Turkey in 2006 and held at Guantanamo Bay for seven years without charges, for war crimes. Captain Waits presided over al-Tamir’s commission for two and...

Citizens for Responsibility v. Federal Election Committee  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5161

Justia Opinion Summary: CREW filed a citizen complaint with the Federal Election Commission against New Models, a now-defunct non-profit entity, alleging violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (FECA) registration and reporting requir...

USA v. Eric Scurry (ORDER)
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: 18-3067
Aguiar v. Drug Enforcement Administration  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: 18-5356

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, who was convicted in 2011 of federal narcotics charges based partly on GPS surveillance conducted by DEA, submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to DEA for a CD "containing the DEA computer file...

RadNet Management, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1180

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated petitions for review, RadNet challenges the Board's decisions finding unfair labor practices based on RadNet's refusal to bargain with the Union on behalf of six separate bargaining units, each representi...

VoteVets Action Fund v. United States Department of Veterans Affairs  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5337

Justia Opinion Summary: VoteVets claims that the Federal Advisory Committee Act applies to an entity allegedly established by President Trump and the Department of Veterans Affairs to advise the Department. VoteVets calls the entity the "Mar-a-...

Shafer & Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corp. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1066

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists discovered that endangered mussels were dying on the banks of Indiana's Tippecanoe River. The Service focused on the upstream Oakdale Dam, which significantly restricts...

Secretary of Labor v. Knight Hawk Coal, LLC  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1299

Justia Opinion Summary: The Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act, 30 U.S.C. 801, requires the Secretary of the Department of Labor, through the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), to negotiate mine-specific ventilation plans...

In re: Klayman  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 20-7110

Justia Opinion Summary: Klayman founded Judicial Watch in 1994 and was its general counsel until 2003. Following a 2013 complaint to the D.C. Bar, a Hearing Committee concluded that Klayman violated Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(d) and 1.9. O...

United States v. Munchel  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 21-3010

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit considered an appeal of a pretrial detention order issued after a magistrate judge had previously ordered the two appellants released pursuant to a lengthy set of stringent conditions. After appellants, Er...

BCP Trading and Investments, LLC v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1068

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Commissioner issued tax adjustments to the partnership of BCP, members of BCP, themselves limited partnerships, challenged the adjustments, arguing they were untimely and that the Commissioner mistakenly determ...

Tah v. Global Witness Publishing, Inc.  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7132

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, two former Liberian officials, allege that Global Witness, an international human rights organization, published a report falsely implying that they had accepted bribes in connection with the sale of an oil l...

Hawkins v. Haaland  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 20-5074

Justia Opinion Summary: Ranchers in the Upper Klamath Basin region filed suit to prevent the exercise of water rights that interfere with the irrigation of their lands. The district court dismissed the complaint based on lack of standing under...

Kapur v. Federal Communications Commission  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1047

Justia Opinion Summary: The Kapurs invested $300,000 in KAXT-CD, a Bay Area TV station, for 42% ownership in the Seller. In 2013, over the Kapurs' objections, the Seller proceeded with a $10.1 million sale of assets to First Buyer, which applie...

United States v. Shi  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: 20-3010

Justia Opinion Summary: Drill riser buoyancy modules (DRBMs) are the high-tech equivalent of water wings for the miles of steel pipe that extend from drillships to the ocean floor and carry oil from natural deposits tens of thousands of feet be...

Kwoka v. IRS  
Date: March 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5310

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a law professor, filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking information regarding nine categories of information about each FOIA request received by the IRS in Fiscal Year 2015. The IRS g...

New Jersey v. Environmental Protection Agency  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: 08-1065

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit denied the State of New Jersey's petition for review of an EPA rule promulgated in response to New York v. EPA, 413 F.3d 3 (D.C. Cir. 2005). In New York, environmental organizations and industrial entities...

United Food and Commercial Workers Union v. National Labor Relations Board  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1027

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit dismissed the union's petition for review of the Board's decision dismissing an unfair labor practice complaint against Kroger Limited Partnership I. The union charged Kroger with violating section 8(a)(1)...

Public Service Electric and Gas Co. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  
Date: March 2, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1091

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved, as just and reasonable, cost allocations filed by PJM, the Mid–Atlantic’s regional transmission organization, for a project to improve the reliability of three...

McNary v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission  
Date: March 2, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1049

Justia Opinion Summary: McNary worked as a “gland manager” and miners’ representative at Alcoa’s Point Comfort, Texas Bayer Alumina Plant. On January 8, 2014, while performing his daily safety rounds, McNary observed hot slurry spewing out of a...

Hammer v. United States  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5174

Justia Opinion Summary: After appellant filed a breach of contract claim against the Government in D.C. Superior Court, the Government removed to district court and subsequently dismissed the claim. Appellant appealed, arguing that under 28 U.S...

Springsteen-Abbott v. Securities and Exchange Commission  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1092

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from petitioner's mismanagement of two related businesses, Commonwealth Capital and Commonwealth Securities. After FINRA determined that petitioner misused investor funds and tried to cover it up, FINRA...

National Hot Rod Ass'n v. National Labor Relations Board  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1152

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit granted a petition for review of the Board's decision determining that the Association violated section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by refusing to bargain with the Union. The court e...

United States v. Scurry  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 18-3067

Justia Opinion Summary: In an action challenging the voluntary and intelligent nature of appellant's plea as to certain drug and drug-related offenses, the DC Circuit concluded that the appointment of counsel was not in the interest of justice...

International Transmission Co. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1190

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit denied a petition for review brought by three electrical transmission companies (Transcos), subsidiaries of the same parent company, challenging FERC's decision to reduce the enhanced return on equity FERC...

Chambers v. District of Columbia  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7098

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the District in an action brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by plaintiff, alleging that OAG's denial of her multiple request...

Leggett & Platt, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1060

Justia Opinion Summary: Employer petitioned for review of NLRB orders which concluded, among other things, that employer had committed an unfair labor practice (ULP) by withdrawing recognition from its employees' union based on a petition signe...

Fleming v. United States Department of Agriculture  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: 17-1246

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit granted petitions for review asking the court to set aside the Department's decisions imposing sanctions on petitioners for violating the Horse Protection Act. The Supreme Court subsequently decided Lucia...

United States v. Greer  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5070

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the government in an action brought by the government seeking to collect a settlement against defendant. The court first rejected defendant's cla...

Community Oncology Alliance, Inc. v. Office of Management and Budget  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5116

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit held that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's challenge to a reduction in Medicare drug reimbursement rates caused by a sequestration order under the Balanced Budget Act....

Xereas v. Heiss  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7108

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, who holds the RIOT ACT trademark, entered into a business agreement with defendants to open the Riot Act Comedy Club in downtown D.C. Plaintiff subsequently filed suit to recover damages from defendants' alleg...

Fresno Community Hospital and Medical Center v. Cochran  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5254

Justia Opinion Summary: When Medicare overpays hospitals, it offsets that mistake by reducing future payments. By 2013, Medicare was out $11 billion because of new diagnostic codes and bookkeeping that did not keep up. Congress required that th...

Wilcox v. Georgetown University  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7065

Justia Opinion Summary: Participants in Georgetown University retirement plans sued the University and individual plan fiduciaries, seeking to bring individual and representative class action claims for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employ...

Leopold v. Central Intelligence Agency  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: 20-5002

Justia Opinion Summary: A 2017 “tweet” by @realDonaldTrump stated: “The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.” BuzzFeed requested CIA records about A...

Dimondstein v. Stidman  
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7161

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, the President of the American Postal Workers Union, filed suit against two union members, Jerry Stidman and Jonathan Kelley, for defamation. Plaintiff is a District of Columbia resident, Stidman is an Indiana...

Sierra Club v. Environmental Protection Agency  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: 15-1465

Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated cases, petitioners challenge four provisions of the EPA's 2015 and 2018 rules implementing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. Petitioners challenge four features of the 2018 Rule:...

Sundel v. United States  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1234

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, a defense attorney with no client, petitioned to reverse a procedural ruling excluding the public from a classified hearing in an appeal filed by other attorneys who, like plaintiff, have no client. Because m...

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: 20-5197

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit held that the Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act (EPA) by issuing an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to transport crude oil through federally owned land at the Lake Oahe cros...

Baan Rao Thai Restaurant v. Pompeo  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5231

Justia Opinion Summary: Baan Rao Thai Restaurant and plaintiffs seek review of a consular officer's decision to deny visas for plaintiffs, asserting their claims fall within one of the consular nonreviewability doctrine's narrow exceptions. T...

Aircraft Service International, Inc. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1013

Justia Opinion Summary: The DC Circuit denied a petition for review challenging FERC's determination that fuel transported by pipeline to Orlando's airport—after being delivered to the Port of Tampa—moves intrastate. The court upheld the ALJ's...

American Lung Association v. Environmental Protection Agency  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1140

Justia Opinion Summary: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted the 2019 Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE Rule), 84 Fed. Reg. 32,520, repealing and replacing the Clean Power Plan as a means of regulating power plants’ emissions of gr...

Muthana v. Pompeo  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5362

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1990, Muthana was appointed as the First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Yemen to the U.N. In 1994, Yemen terminated Muthana and required him to surrender his diplomatic credentials and Muthana's daughter, Hoda,...

Erwin-Simpson v. AirAsia Berhad  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7034

Justia Opinion Summary: Erwin-Simpson, a D.C. resident, alleges that she suffered injuries in 2016 on a flight from Malaysia to Cambodia with Malaysia-based AirAsia when a flight attendant spilled boiling water on her. She sued under the Montre...

Kareem v. Haspel  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5328

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, a United States citizen working in Syria as a journalist, seeks a declaration that his alleged inclusion on the government's purported terrorist list is unconstitutional and an injunction barring the United St...

LLC SPC Stileks v. Republic of Moldova  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: 19-7106

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal arising from a long-running dispute between the Republic of Moldova and a Ukrainian energy provider called Energoalliance, a company called Stileks—which owns the right to Energoalliance's arbitration awar...

United States v. Jenkins  
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: 19-3023

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), and one count of simple possession of a controlled substance, 21 U.S.C. 844(a). Appellant conditionally pleaded guilty to the...

Cable News Network, Inc. v. FBI  
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: 19-5278

Justia Opinion Summary: CNN filed suit against the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for access to memos that former FBI Director James Comey wrote. The FBI filed a redacted declaration by Deputy Assistant Director David Archey ex...

United States v. Driscoll  
Date: January 5, 2021
Docket Number: 19-3074

Justia Opinion Summary: ESPN published an article about Driscoll, the former president of a nonprofit organization, indicating that a former employee planned to file an IRS whistleblower complaint that might lead to charges of embezzlement and...

Shawnee Tribe v. Mnuchin  
Date: January 5, 2021
Docket Number: 20-5286

Justia Opinion Summary: The Oklahoma Shawnee Tribe challenged the allocation of funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 801(a)(1). Of the $150 billion appropriated, the Act reserved $8 billion for “Tribal...