Articles Posted in U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

by
Morpho, a California-based corporation that designs and builds explosives and other threat detection technology, contracted with the FAA on behalf of its then-newly established TSA, to supply its Explosive Detection System (EDS) to United States airports. Morpho subsequently sought an increase of the contract price to compensate for state assessments as "after-imposed taxes" pursuant to Clause 3.4.2-7(c) of the Acquisition Management System (AMS). The court denied Morpho's petition for review, agreeing with the TSA's rejection of Morpho's claim on the ground that the taxes at issue did not satisfy the after-imposed tax exception's precise terms. View "Morpho Detection, Inc. v. TSA" on Justia Law

by
Suppliers appealed the district court's dismissal of their action against the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Suppliers challenged a regulation addressing the "applicable financial standards" that a durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) supplier must meet to be eligible for a Medicare contract under the competitive process established in 42 U.S.C. 1395w-3 (DMEPOS Statute). The court affirmed the district court's dismissal on the ground that section 1395w-3(11) precluded judicial review of the Secretary's financial standards regulation and that the district court therefore lacked subject matter jurisdiction. View "Texas Alliance For Home Care, et al. v. Sebelius, et al." on Justia Law

by
The Air Force petitioned for review of the decision and order of the Federal Labor Relations Authority ("FLRA") that a union proposal for uniform cleaning was a negotiable condition of employment. Based on a recently discovered Conference Report, the Air Force contended that the expenditure under 5 U.S.C. 5901(a) of funds was not authorized for the provision of services related to uniforms and statutory silence did not leave it discretion to do so. At issue was whether the court lacked jurisdiction under 5 U.S.C. 7123(c) to entertain the Air Force's petition because the Air Force failed to present its new interpretation of the uniform statutes. The court held that the Air Force's belated discovery of a constructional appropriations bar was an extraordinary circumstance under section 7123(c) that permitted consideration of an argument not presented by the FLRA. Were the exception not to apply, the FLRA's order would, in effect, permit the Air Force, by contract with the union, to authorize the expenditure of funds beyond what Congress had approved and therefore, the court granted the petition for review. Accordingly, whether as a matter of the plain text of the two uniform statues, or the Air Force's permissible interpretation of any statutory ambiguity to which the FLRA must defer, the Air Force correctly maintained that the union's uniform cleaning proposal was non-negotiated because the statute the Department of Defense administered did not authorize such payments for appropriated funds.

by
The Alcoa Power Generating Company ("Alcoa") petitioned for review of two orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("Commission") with respect to the relicensing of its Yadkin Project facilities in North Carolina. At issue was whether the petition for review was ripe in light of on-going state administrative review and stay of certification and whether the certifying agency waived its authority by not issuing a certification that was effective and complete within one year under section 401 of the Clean Water Act ("Act"), 33 U.S.C. 1341(a)(1). The court held that the petition was ripe for review where the waiver issue was fit for review and the legally cognizable hardship that Alcoa would suffer from delay sufficed to outweigh the slight judicial interest in the unlikely possibility that the court may never need to decide the waiver issue. The court also held that there was no waiver issue where the "effective" clause would not operate to delay or block the federal licensing proceeding beyond section 401's one-year period.

by
The Pacific Regional Director of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service ("Director") caused four oil and gas leases off the coast of California, for which appellants had originally paid the United States over $140 million, to expire. The Director later testified that he based his decision solely on political considerations and that absent such considerations, he would have extended the leases instead. At issue was whether the Interior Board of Land Appeals ("IBLA") should have adopted the decision the Director said he would have made absent political influence in order to cure the Director's original decision of political taint. The court affirmed the district court's decision and held that the IBLA fulfilled its role and appellants received all they were entitled to, i.e., an agency decision on the merits without regard to extrastatutory, political factors.