Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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ABM petitioned for review of the Board's determination that the Union's effort to represent the workers who handle airline baggage was governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq., and not the Railway Labor Act (RLA), 45 U.S.C. 151 et seq. The court concluded that the Board violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(a), by applying a new test to determine whether the RLA applies, without explaining its reasons for doing so. Because an agency's unexplained departure from precedent was arbitrary and capricious, the court vacated the Board's order. In this case, the court held that the Board was not free to simply adopt the NMB's new approach without offering a reasoned explanation for that shift. The court explained that an agency cannot avoid its duty to explain a departure from its own precedent simply by pointing to another agency's unexplained departure from precedent. Accordingly, the court granted the petition for review, denied the Board's cross-application for enforcement, and vacated the order, remanding for further proceedings. View "ABM Onsite Services - West, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Scenic filed suit challenging a guidance memorandum issued by the FHWA in 2007, which interpreted the prohibition on “flashing, intermittent or moving” lights to permit state approval of those digital billboards that met certain timing and brightness requirements. The Highway Beautification Act (HBA), 23 U.S.C. 131, requires the FHWA and each state to develop and implement individual federal-state agreements (FSAs), detailing, among other things, “size, lighting and spacing” standards for the billboards now found towering over many of our country’s interstate highways. The court held that it lacks jurisdiction to hear Scenic's notice-and-comment claim because Scenic failed to demonstrate that it has standing to bring that challenge. The court concluded that Scenic has standing to bring a claim under section 706 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 706, and that the Guidance constitutes final agency action. On the merits, the court concluded that, because the FHWA’s interpretation of the FSA lighting provision was reasonable, the interpretation cannot be “contrary to customary use.” Accordingly, Scenic's claim under section 706 fails. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for dismissal of Scenic's notice-and-comment claim. View "Scenic America, Inc. v. US DOT" on Justia Law

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Petitioner seeks review of the Board's denial of his request to reopen the Board's 1999 benefits determination. The court concluded that the Railroad Retirement Act, 45 U.S.C. 231g, grants the court jurisdiction to review Board decisions denying requests to reopen initial benefits determinations. The court concluded, however, that the Board’s decision to deny petitioner's request to reopen was reasonable where it was reasonable for the Board to conclude that there were no errors in the allocation of petitioner's earnings that, if corrected, would have given him insured status at the time of the decision. Further, petitioner provided little to no explanation of how his initial decision contained a clerical error or an error that appears on the face of the evidence. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Stovic v. RRRB" on Justia Law

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Silverado Stages, a California charter bus service, petitioned for review of the FMCSA's determination denying Silverado's petition for administrative review after the FMCSA publicly reported that Silverado violated a number of federal and state safety regulations. The court concluded that Silverado's contention that the FMCSA's dismissal of Silverado's petition was arbitrary and capricious lacks merit because the FMCSA was not required to provide Silverado with any more process than it received. The court also concluded that Silverado's contention that the violations issued against it are invalid because they were not promulgated pursuant to notice-and-comment procedures and because they constitute impermissible sanctions are foreclosed by the court's decision in Weaver v. FMCSA. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Silverado Stages, Inc. v. FMCSA" on Justia Law