DC Circuit Overturns Hamdan Conviction, Says Military Commissions Unusable for Material Support Charges

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 3:00 pm

In a significant ruling today, a federal appeals court overturned a conviction of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, obtained through a military commission. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a George W. Bush appointee seen as a possible conservative Supreme Court justice, wrote in a ruling for a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court that Hamdan could not be convicted under a military commission for “material support” for terrorist organizations before 2006, when the military commission process was inaugurated.


Federal Court Rules to Open Early Voting on Weekend Before Election in Ohio

By: Friday August 31, 2012 11:05 am

For the fourth time this week, a federal court has struck down a policy put forward by Republicans that would either constrict voting rights or dilute the power of minority votes. We had the voter ID law in Texas, the redistricting maps in Texas, the restrictions on voter registration in Florida, and now the restoration of early voting in Ohio.

Federal Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 11:41 am

The latest in a string of rulings limiting the GOP’s war on voting has come down. A federal court has unanimously stopped Texas from instituting a voter ID law. While this would seem contradictory to the Supreme Court’s upholding of voter ID for Indiana in 2009, this case is different because it follows the Justice Department’s pre-clearance authority under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department said that Texas’ law would impose disproportionate burdens on racial minorities, and the three-judge panel at the US Circuit Court for the District of Columbia basically agreed. They said that the poor would have additional trouble obtaining a voter ID, and that “racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty.”

EPA “Good Neighbor” Interstate Pollution Rule Overturned By DC Circuit Court

By: Wednesday August 22, 2012 8:25 am

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court, voting 2-1 on partisan lines, has struck down the EPA’s “good neighbor” air pollution rule, which attempted to protect Eastern states from upwind pollution from Midwest and Southern states via tougher pollution laws. A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a key Obama administration air pollution rule [...]

Anti-Choice Rulings Advance in Federal Courts

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 11:30 am

Arizona’s stringent abortion law, which includes a ban on all abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, was upheld by a federal judge yesterday, setting up a potential showdown at the Supreme Court that could further chip away at Roe v. Wade. The Arizona law will now take effect tomorrow, as scheduled.

First Circuit Court of Appeals Finds DOMA Unconstitutional

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 8:37 am

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has affirmed a ruling declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, bringing the case one step closer to an ultimate resolution at the Supreme Court.

Appeals Court Denies Stay, Independent Expenditure Groups Would Have to Disclose Donors Under Current Ruling

By: Wednesday May 16, 2012 12:50 pm

A federal appeals court panel declined to stay a ruling on donor disclosure for so-called “electioneering” advertising, which could lead to the largest independent expenditure campaigns in America having to reveal their donor networks for the 2012 cycle. Conservative groups wanted to stay the ruling pending appeal, which won’t be heard until September.

Conservative Appeals Court Judges Think All Economic Regulation Should Be Unconstitutional

By: Monday April 16, 2012 12:40 pm

An unusually blunt ruling from two conservative federal judges, if applied at the Supreme Court level, would make virtually all regulation on businesses or financial firms unconstitutional. DC Circuit Court members David Sentelle (a Reagan appointee) and Janice Rogers Brown (an appointee of George W. Bush) wrote a concurring opinion in a case about regulation for the dairy industry, one that would rewrite several decades of legal history on the legislative powers of Congress.

Federal Judge Assigns Homework on Judicial Review to Justice Department

By: Wednesday April 4, 2012 7:30 am

A federal appeals court judge on the Fifth Circuit pretty much freaked out yesterday during a trial with a member of the Justice Department, pouncing on President Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court’s health care case and badgering counsel on whether judicial review exists. The judge is displaying more ego than sense.

Who Will Police Captured Agencies?

By: Sunday March 25, 2012 10:30 am

How do we police a captured agency if courts have to take their word for everything?

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