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The Airline Deregulation Act preempts a cause of action against an air ambulance provider based on a provision of the Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law, Florida Statutes 627.730–627.7405. The Eleventh Circuit held that the insured in this case sought to restrict the prices of the air carrier and the ADA preempted it from doing so. The court explained that the McCarran-Ferguson Act did not interfere with preemption because the balance billing provision, on which the action rests, has nothing to do with the relationship between an insurer and an insured and therefore does not regulate the business of insurance. View "Bailey v. Rocky Mountain Holdings, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit held that this action claiming that the City violated the Establishment Clause when it approved the construction of a religious center near plaintiffs' homes was moot and no longer justiciable. In this case, a state court barred the construction of the center after the lawsuit was commenced. View "Gaglilardi v. City of Boca Raton Florida" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants for violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-2725. The Eleventh Circuit held that the DPPA permitted punitive damages against municipal agencies; the district court did not abuse its discretion when it assessed liquidated damages for both occasions when Defendant Thomas accessed plaintiff's information; the district court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to certify a class action; the district court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to grant a new trial; and the district court did not err when it instructed the jury that punitive damages should bear a reasonable relationship to compensatory damages. View "Truesdell v. Thomas" on Justia Law

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Petitioners challenged the Commission's issuance of an order approving Rule 2030, a regulation governing the political contributions of FINRA members who solicit government officials for investment advisory services contracts. The Eleventh Circuit held that it could not consider the petition on the merits because the Georgia party did not have standing to challenge the Rule and this court was not the proper venue for either the New York Committee or the Tennessee Party. Accordingly, the court dismissed the Georgia Party for lack of jurisdiction, and transferred the appeal of the remaining two parties to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. View "The Georgia Republican Party v. Securities and Exchange Commission" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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Petitioners challenged the Commission's issuance of an order approving Rule 2030, a regulation governing the political contributions of FINRA members who solicit government officials for investment advisory services contracts. The Eleventh Circuit held that it could not consider the petition on the merits because the Georgia party did not have standing to challenge the Rule and this court was not the proper venue for either the New York Committee or the Tennessee Party. Accordingly, the court dismissed the Georgia Party for lack of jurisdiction, and transferred the appeal of the remaining two parties to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. View "The Georgia Republican Party v. Securities and Exchange Commission" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The State Executive Clemency Board appealed the district court's orders in favor of appellees James Michael Hand and eight other convicted felons who have completed their sentences and sought to regain their voting rights in Florida. The Eleventh Circuit held that the State Executive Clemency Board has made a sufficient showing under Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 426 (2009), to warrant a stay. The court explained that the Fourteenth Amendment expressly empowered the states to abridge a convicted felon's right to vote; binding precedent held that the Governor had broad discretion to grant and deny clemency, even when the applicable regime lacked any standards; and, although a reenfranchisement scheme could violate equal protection if it had both the purpose and effect of invidious discrimination, appellees have not alleged -- let alone established as undisputed facts -- that Florida's scheme has a discriminatory purpose or effect. View "Hand v. Scott" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a writ of habeas corpus vacating his convictions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. The court held that petitioner was not denied due process or access to the courts because he was unable—due to the unavailability of a transcript of his criminal trial—to prove in collaterally attacking his convictions that his trial attorneys rendered ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The court held that the state court's decision affirming the collateral-attack court's denial of relief was not contrary to, nor involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established United States Supreme Court precedent. View "Bush v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus. The court held that federal habeas relief was not warranted on petitioner's claim that his Sixth Amendment right to self-representation was violated under Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975). The court held that there was no basis to conclude that the Florida Supreme Court's denial of petitioner's Sixth Amendment self-representation claim was either contrary to or an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent, or that it resulted from an unreasonable determination of the facts. View "Barnes v. Secretary, Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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Alabama rail carriers pay a 4% sales and use tax on diesel fuel. Motor carriers and water carriers are exempt from that tax but motor carriers pay a Motor Fuels Excise Tax of $0.19 per gallon of diesel. Water carriers pay no tax for diesel fuel. The Eleventh Circuit previously determined that Alabama failed to sufficiently justify the scheme under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act, 49 U.S.C. 11501, which forbids states from discriminating against rail carriers in assessing property or imposing taxes. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded. On remand, the district court again ruled that Alabama’s tax scheme does not violate the Act. The Eleventh Circuit then reversed. The excise tax justifies the motor carrier exemption. As to water carriers, their exemption is not “compelled by federal law.” Although imposing the sales and use tax on water carriers transporting freight interstate might “expose” the state to a lawsuit under federal law, compulsion requires more than exposure. The water carrier exemption is “compelled by federal law” only if imposition of the sales and use tax would violate federal law. It would not, so it violates the Act. View "CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Alabama Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of petitioners' suit challenging the FAA's interpretation of 49 U.S.C. 47133 as set forth in a 2016 letter because the letter did not constitute final agency action. Section 47133 prohibits local taxes on aviation fuel from being spent on anything but aviation. The court held that petitioners' action came too late to challenge the FAA's policy clarification issued in 2014, and it came too early to challenge an FAA enforcement action that may never happen. View "Clayton County, Georgia v. Federal Aviation Administration" on Justia Law