D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Thanks, C-Span

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Nov. 2, 2018@Aaron_L_Nielson

Another quick post — about to hop onto a plane.

I’m a fan of the history of the D.C. Circuit — and for that reason, this has been a fun week. Yesterday, I moderated a panel that included Judge Sentelle. As regular readers know, Sentelle has lived an extraordinary life. It was fun to chat with him about his Court. For instance, and I don’t believe I’m revealing any confidences, when we were deciding the order in which the panel members would speak, Sentelle mentioned Judge Spottswood Robinson — Spotts, per Sentelle — who once told Sentelle how they decided the order the lawyers would argue in Brown v. Board of Education!* I love stories like that. During his remarks on the panel, Sentelle also mentioned that Judge Randolph is responsible for the D.C. Circuit’s glossary rule, that before accepting the nomination to the D.C. Circuit he (Sentelle) read all of the Court’s opinions for the prior two volumes of the F.2d and concluded that administrative law is still just law, and that Judge Silberman strongly endorses use of appellate counsel in the D.C. Circuit.

Judge Sentelle is a remarkable judge. Learning from him, by itself, would make this a pretty great week. Learning from him and his similarly remarkable co-panelists (Judges Evan Wallach and Erin Wirth) made the week even better.

But there is more. Last week, I closed my post with this sentence: “As an aside, I hope that the transcript of (or a recording of) Justice Ginsburg’s remarks — with Judge Tatel — from this week become available. If anyone knows where to find such a thing, I’d love to do a post about that event too.” Sure enough, via C-Span, her speech is now available. Her remarks cover a lot of ground. Here, however, is an interesting anecdote about the D.C. Circuit:

#AppellateTwitter, note this sentence: “By the way, we like those cases because we know the Court is very unlikely to take them.” I appreciate the candor!

The Court decided two cases this week.

In Liljeberg v. IRS, Judge Rogers (joined by Judges Pillard and Sentelle) addressed the tax liability of “three foreign nationals who participated in the State Department’s Summer Work Travel Program in 2012.” Here is the meat of the analysis (although there is more):

In Angelex Ltd. v. United States, Judge Tatel (joined by Judges Millett and Williams) addressed a novel question about the Coast Guard.

There is a lot more going on in this opinion, but that is a good sample. And now I need to run to catch my plane!

* Evidently, the other lawyers decided that Judge Robinson would argue first before he even arrived at the meeting! It’s wonderful to learn something new about the greatest decision in the history of the United States

 

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed is designed to help you keep track of the nation’s “second most important court” in just five minutes a week.

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About Aaron Nielson

Professor Nielson is an associate professor at Brigham Young University Law School. Before joining the academy, Professor Nielson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (where he remains of counsel). He also has served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. All views expressed are the author's alone. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_L_Nielson.

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