US v. Green IV — criminal — affirmance — Fisher
The Third Circuit today rejected a criminal defendant’s challenge to a vehicle stop. The officer made the stop for speeding after pacing the vehicle from between a mile and two-tenths of a mile away. After the driver refused to consent to a vehicle search, the officer made the driver wait for 15 minutes for a dog to arrive to sniff the vehicle for drugs. The court rejected challenges to both the initial stop and the prolongation.
The court’s analysis of reasonable suspicion turns on statements by the driver that it deems fishy but which strike me as quite unremarkable. For example, the opinion thought a key fact was that, when asked by the officer how he was doing, the driver responded, “I can’t complain,” instead of immediately explaining to the officer that his daughter recently had broken her leg. On the other hand, the opinion’s prolongation section is an admirably lucid discussion of an area of the law that is anything but.
Joining Fisher were Greenaway and Nygaard. Arguing counsel were Kimberly Brunson of the WDPA FPD for the defendant and Michael Ivory for the government.
Adorers of the Blood of Christ v. FERC — civil / agency — affirmance — Greenaway
By statute, the D.C. Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over certain decisions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. After FERC approved a natural-gas pipeline through land owned by a religious organization, the religious organization sued to block the project under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The district court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and today the Third Circuit affirmed, holding that RFRA does not function as an exception to the exclusive-jurisdiction grant.
Joining Greenaway were Smith and Krause. Arguing counsel were J. Dwight Yoder of Gibbel Kraybill for the religious group, Susanna Chu for FERC, and Elizabeth Witmer of Saul Ewing for the gas company.
PA DHS v. USA — civil — affirmance — Greenberg
The Third Circuit today rejected a state agency’s challenge to a district court ruling in favor of the federal government in a dispute over reimbursement of fees for Medicare and Medicaid provider training.
Joining Greenberg were Jordan and Krause. Arguing counsel were W. Scott Foster for the agency and Suzanne Yurk for the government.