Tag Archives: D.C. Circuit

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: The Honorable Wilson Warlick (1892-1978)

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, May 20, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

One night during the summer of 1987, Judge David Sentelle communed with the dead. Sentelle, then of the Western District of North Carolina, was confronted with a tricky Pullman Abstention question. As he struggled with the issue, he asked what the Honorable Wilson Warlick would do. Judge Warlick had been dead for almost a decade. […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: The Dissents that Matter Most to Chief Judge Garland, by Aaron Nielson

by Aaron Nielson — Saturday, May 14, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

This week, Chief Judge Garland sent his questionnaire to the Senate. As I reviewed that “lengthy” submission, my mind turned again to “brooding spirts .” In particular, it is interesting that Garland’s list of his “most significant” opinions includes two dissents. To begin, here is Garland’s list: Cause of Action v. FTC (2015) Wagner v. […]

What Makes This Agency Different From All Other Agencies?, by Daniel Hemel

by Daniel Hemel — Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

A D.C. Circuit panel held today that the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) is unconstitutional. This is the second time the same panel has struck down the PRIIA (the first time the panel was reversed by the Supreme Court). The panel’s primary holding is that “the PRIIA violates the Fifth Amendment’s […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Skiing, Snowboarding, and State Action

by Aaron Nielson — Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

Is there a constitutional right to snowboard? Before answering, know that Utah takes its snow very seriously—as it should. Few places have even a credible claim to “the greatest snow on Earth.” Utah is one of them (as is Hokkaido Island in Japan). But should that snow be used for skiing, snowboarding, or both? Again, […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: The Baron Montesquieu

by Aaron Nielson — Sunday, Apr. 10, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

Here is an interesting fact: the D.C. Circuit has invoked Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu—better known as Charles de Montesquieu, the Baron Montesquieu, “ the celebrated Montesquieu,” or just Montesquieu—on at least nine separate occasions. Included in this list are some notable cases: Nixon v. Sirica, Buckley v. Valeo, and […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: More Brooding Spirits, C.J. Garland Edition

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Mar. 18, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

On one hand, this was a quiet week in the D.C. Circuit; there were just two opinions, neither of which is that significant (though one is is noteworthy for jurisdiction hawks).* On the other hand, President Obama nominated Chief Judge Garland to serve on the Supreme Court. So on net, it’s fair to say that […]

Reviewed: Brooding Spirits, C.J. Garland Edition

by Aaron Nielson — Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

A couple of months back, I offered the following rule of thumb: “If you want to understand an appellate judge, don’t spend too much time on majority opinions,” but instead “look to his or her separate writings.” It is in those opinions—opinions a judge doesn’t have to write—that one best observes a judge trying to […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: “An extraordinary number of people, institutions, and inanimate objects have wronged Tyrone Hurt ….”

by Aaron Nielson — Sunday, Mar. 13, 2016@Aaron_L_Nielson

I remember well the indignation I felt when I first learned about unpublished decisions. The idea that an appellate court in a common-law system can issue a decision that “carries no precedential force” —an opinion good for one case only—struck me as scandalous. The rule of law, I felt, depended on precedential effect. But then […]