Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

by
The DC Circuit upheld the Department's final rule defining e-cigarette use as "smoking" for purposes of airplane travel under 49 U.S.C. 41706. The Department rested its authority for the regulation on two sections authorizing past aircraft smoking regulations, 49 U.S.C. 41706 (prohibition on "smoking" on scheduled passenger flights within, to, or from the United States) and 49 U.S.C. 41702 ("air carrier shall provide safe and adequate interstate air transportation"). The court held that a "smoking prohibition" reasonably applies to products intended to enable users to inhale and exhale nicotine; the regulation was not arbitrary; the Department acknowledged petitioners' contrary evidence and explained why the regulation was still warranted; and the Department did not impermissibly rely on new studies in the final rule, but instead included new supplementary information that expands on and confirms data in the rulemaking record. Because the court upheld the regulation under section 41706, the court need not address section 41702. View "Competitive Enterprise Institute v. DOT" on Justia Law

by
Delaware petitioned for review of the Board's order determining that Senate Bill 135 was categorically preempted under 49 U.S.C. 10501(b) of the Interstate Commerce Act, as broadened in the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA). The DC Circuit held that SB 135 was a regulation of rail transportation under the ICCTA, and Delaware's challenges to the Board's determination that SB 135 was categorically preempted by the ICCTA were unpersuasive. In this case, SB 135 directly regulates rail transportation by prohibiting locomotives from idling in certain places at certain times, in essence requiring that at night, in residential neighborhoods, they either shut down or keep moving. The court need not decide the precise level of deference owed to the Board's preemption determination because it survived under either standard of review. View "Delaware v. STB" on Justia Law