Read more about the D.C. Circuit

coalitionhihatΗλεκτρονική - Συσκευές

7 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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Updated 5/29/13


Why the D.C. Circuit Matters

to All Americans

T
he D.C. Circuit is widely regarded as the second
-
most important court in the United States



behind only the U.S. Supreme Court



b
ecause of the complexity and significance of the cases it
decides
and its
status as a stepping stone to the Supreme Court
.

Although the D.C. Circuit

has
significant

responsibility for deciding cases
regarding

the
balance
of powers of the branches of government
and
actions

by
federal
agencies
that affect our health
and safety
,
th
ree

of the court’s eleven
active
seats
are currently

vacant
.

A fourth vacancy was
just filled in May 2013
, making the eight active seats evenly split between Republican and
Democratic presidents’ appointees
.
In addition
,
five of the
court’s
six senior
judges



who still
can and do decide cases


were appointed by Republican presidents.

While these seats
have
been
s
it
t
ing

vacant,
the D.C. Circuit’s Republican
-
appointed

majority

has
been
sid
ing

with corporate and industry interests over individual
workers

and
consumers



blocking Wall Street reforms,
undermining labor rights
, and rolling back environmental
protections.

Regardless of where you live or the issues you care about, the D.C. Circuit makes decisions
that matter to you.

Under its Republican
-
appointed majority, the D.C. Circuit has become hostile to consumer,
worker, health, and environmental protections:



Environmental Protection
s
:

In 2012, the court struck down
an

Environmental Protection
Agency

rule
intended to control
air pollution that crosses state lines.
According to the
EPA,
in 2014 alone
this rule would have prevented 13,000 to
3
4,000 premature deaths,
15,000 heart attacks,
and 1.8 million missed days of school and work.



Worker

Rights

and Consumer Protections
:

In 2013,
the court
invalidated the President’s
three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board
, under reasoning that
would also invalidate

an appointment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
This
decision was
contrary to
other court
s’ rulings and
150 years of recess appointments



including 141 such appointments during the presidencies of Barack Obama and George
W. Bush alone
.

The Court also ruled in 2013 that an NLRB rule requiring employers to
inform workers of their legal rights v
iolates the employers’ First Amendment rights
.



Wall Street Reform
:

In 2011, the court
placed an unreasonably high standard on the
Securities and Exchange Commission and
struck down
a key Wall Street Reform

regulation that
would have made it easier for
shareholders to propose their own
nominees to corporate board
s

of directors.



Health Protections
:

In 2012, the court struck down an FDA cigarette warning label
regulation
, citing the
F
irst
A
mendment rights of cigarette companies.

Updated 5/29/13




National Security
:

Since
2008, the court has blatantly disregarded a U.S. Supreme Court
ruling
recognizing
habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo Bay detainees and ignored the
requirement that the circuit conduct a
fair and
robust review of prisoners’ detainment.

The D.C. Circuit
ha
s

jurisdiction over


and often the final say on


critical issues affecting all
Americans:



T
he D.C. Circuit
is the federal appeals court with

exclusive jurisdiction
over
certain
e
nvironmental regulations
,

n
ational security issues
, and voting rights
cases, and

it
is the
court that most closely oversees the actions of federal agencies
on consumer
protections,
workers’

rights
,

and the environment
.



Because the Supreme Court grants review of so few lower court decisions, the D.C.
Circuit is typically the

final word on these crucially important issues.

By law, the D.C. Circuit currently has
11

active
seats. Today,
three

of those judgeships are
vacant.
The current makeup of the court is:



Of the
eight

active judges:

o

Three were appointed by President George
W. Bush
;


o

Three were appointed by President Clinton
;

o

One was appointed by President George H.W. Bush
; and


o

One was appointed by

President Obama
.
After twice filibustering

his first highly
qualified nominee (Caitlin Halligan), Senate Republicans finally relented and
allowed a vote on his second nominee, Sri Srinivasan, in May 2013
.



Fifteen

of the last 19 D
.
C
.

Circuit judges were appointed by Republican presidents
:
8
by
Ronald Reagan
,

3

by
George H.W. Bush
,

3
by
Bill Clinton
, 4 by George W. Bush, and 1 by
Barack Obama
.



The D.C. Circuit has six senior (or semi
-
retired) judges who still can and do sit on three
-
judge panels that decide major cases. Five of those six senior j
udges were appointed by
Republican presidents.

The
judges on the D.C. Circuit hear extraordinarily complex cases
:




As former Chief Judge Patricia Wald has written, “
The D.C. Circuit hears the most
complex, time
-
consuming, labyrinthine disputes over regulat
ions with the greatest
impact on ordinary Americans’ lives

. . .
. These cases can require thousands of hours of
preparation by the judges, often consuming days of argument, involving hundreds of
parties and interveners, and necessitating dozens of briefs
and thousands of pages of
record



all of which culminates in lengthy, technically intricate legal opinions.


The D.C. Circuit is a stepping stone to the Supreme Court:



Four of the
nine current justices


Roberts, Ginsburg, Scalia and Thomas


served on the
D.C. Circuit.