Although the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled its composition invalid, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “declares that it will keep doing business as if nothing happened.” [WSJ via Fed Soc Blog]
This is by no means the first face-off between the D.C. Circuit and an agency resistant to its will: for another, see this 1981 Regulation account (PDF, scroll to page 11, “Reversing the D.C. Circuit at the FCC”) of a series of showdowns between the appeals court and the Federal Communications Commission. That one ended happily for the independent agency, but then the FCC may have been on firmer ground going to bat for its right to exercise policy discretion as an expert agency than it would have for its right to be constituted improperly through unconstitutional appointments.
Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein’s smear job on D.C. Circuit judge Brett Kavanaugh over an environmental ruling shouldn’t go unanswered, and thanks to Ed Whelan at NRO it hasn’t.
A year ago the D.C. Circuit told the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that it needed to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking for its controversial program of full-body scanners at airports. The rulemaking process is intended to ensure that the agency lays out clearly the factual, legal and policy basis for its actions, with a chance for opponents to lodge objections and establish a basis for judicial review. As my colleague Jim Harper points out, the agency has dragged its heels about doing this — a sort of passive resistance it would probably not tolerate from the hapless citizens stuck in its lines. TSA screening is one of the most widely resented governmental intrusions on the individual citizen of our era. Shouldn’t we all demand that the federal government demonstrate adequate justification for imposing it? [Cato at Liberty and Ars Technica; Consumerist; Constitutional Law Prof, 2011] (& welcome National Review “Web Briefing” readers; John LaPlante, Detroit News “Water Cooler”)
The AEI scholar and author of The Upside-Down Constitution notes that administrative law battles at the D.C. Circuit have calmed down a lot in recent years — maybe too much so [Law and Liberty] And Ramesh Ponnuru reviews Greve’s new book here.
And the resulting lawsuit by the bomb victim names as defendants the parking garage as well as the family member. A panel of the D.C. Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the garage owners, however, ruling that a car bombing was not reasonably foreseeable at their location on Wisconsin Ave. in the District of Columbia. [Sigmund v. Starwood, Findlaw, via The Briefcase]
In the past two years Tyrone Hurt has filed more than seventy appeals with the D.C. Circuit, whose judges observe (PDF):
In just the last couple of years, Hurt has sued the Declaration of Independence, Black’s Law Dictionary, the United Nations, agencies of the District of Columbia and the Federal Government, and various courts and their officers. Hurt has . . . demanded the deportation of a Spanish-speaking government employee.
Finding that Hurt has abused the privilege of having filing fees waived for indigence (“in forma pauperis”) the court dismissed his forty-four pending cases and decreed that he will have to pay ordinary filing fees if he wishes to bring any more pro se actions in that court. Hurt’s various failed lawsuits have demanded “sums of money dwarfing the size of the Federal Government’s annual budget”. (WSJ law blog, Oct. 3).