Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

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

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Plaintiff, a former federal inmate, appealed the district court’s preservice dismissal of his action seeking relief under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The court concluded that, while it agrees that a litigant must exhaust administrative remedies before bringing a FOIA action in federal court, because FOIA is silent as to whether exhaustion is a pleading requirement or an affirmative defense, the argument of non-exhaustion is an affirmative defense rather than a pleading requirement. Therefore, plaintiff was not required to plead exhaustion in his complaint. The court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Moon v. Federal Bureau of Prisons" on Justia Law

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FedEx petitioned for review of the Board's orders forcing it to bargain with the unions, arguing that the Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile standard violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 159(a); circuit law; and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. Determining that the court has jurisdiction to review FedEx's claims, the court concluded that the first step in the analysis described by Specialty Healthcare, in which the Board analyzes the union's proposed bargaining unit under the traditional community of interest test, is not a departure from the Board's precedent and is consistent with the requirements of section 9(b) of the NLRA; because the Specialty Healthcare framework does not make the extent of union organization "controlling," the court concluded that it does not violate section 9(c)(5); and the Board did not violate the APA by announcing the overwhelming community of interest standard in the course of adjudicating Specialty Healthcare rather than by notice and comment rulemaking. In this case, the court concluded that the Board's decisions to certify bargaining units consisting of the road and city drivers were supported by substantial evidence and were not arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the court denied FedEx's petitions for review and granted the Board's cross-petitions for enforcement. View "FedEx Freight v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a former special agent with the FBI, filed suit against the DOJ under the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A), alleging that the Deputy Attorney General’s decision affirming the OARM's finding that she had not been constructively discharged and denying her back pay was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law. Plaintiff had previously filed a suit in district court alleging that OPR had not conducted its investigation as required by the applicable regulations and seeking injunctive and declaratory relief under the APA. The court concluded that both of plaintiff's suits relied on the same basis of subject matter jurisdiction and so the issues are the same for collateral estoppel purposes. Factual differences between the two underlying causes of action are immaterial, because those differences do not affect the common question, namely, whether Congress intended the CSRA to proscribe unique and exclusive remedial procedures for FBI employees alleging retaliation. Even if the court were to construe application of different sections of the APA as raising potentially different issues, collateral estoppel would still bar the action because both actions involve application of the same legal standard. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Turner v. DOJ" on Justia Law

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Defendant, the Director of Industry Operations for the Kansas City Field Division of the ATF, denied Harris News' application for a federal license to sell guns based on the ground that Harris News and co-owners willfully allowed a felon to possess firearms. The district court affirmed. The court, however, reversed the judgment of the district court, concluding that the ATF had no authority to deny the license application under 18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1)(C) because the ATF did not show that the Harris News officers and owners did anything to further the felon’s possession of firearms. View "Harris News Agency, Inc. v. Bowers" on Justia Law