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Administrative

Administrative – Search & Seizure – Slate Quarry – Repeated Warrantless Inspections (access required)

LeSueur-Richmond Slate Corp. v. Fehrer A Virginia slate quarry that was subjected to 25 warrantless inspections of its mining operations over a seven-month period under the state’s Mineral and Mine Safety Act and cited for 32 violations has no civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for illegal searches because neither the Act authorizing the searches nor the conduct of the searches violates the Fourth Amendment; the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of appellant mine’s suit.

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Administrative – Social Security – Evidence — Mental Retardation – Single IQ Test (access required)

Hancock v. Astrue An administrative law judge can reject findings that a claimant is mentally retarded even if there is only one set of test scores in the record; the 4th Circuit joins the majority of federal appeals courts in this view, and upholds the ALJ’s rejection of this claimant’s application for supplemental security income benefits, in light of her past work history and ability to manage daily life.

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Administrative – CON Application – New Emergency Department – Population (access required)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority v. N.C. Department of Health & Human Services Even though the intervenor-applicant asked to build a new emergency department (ED) with 14 beds, it was within the respondent-agency’s authority to grant the application for only a nine-bed ED. We affirm the agency’s conditional grant of the intervenor’s application and its denial of petitioner’s application.

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Administrative – PPACA — Black Lung Benefits — Widow (access required)

West Virginia CWP Fund v. Stacy A widow wins survivor’s benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act without having to prove her coal miner husband died from pneumoconiosis, because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says an eligible survivor of a miner receiving benefits at the time of death is automatically entitled to survivor benefits; the 4th Circuit rejects petitioner’s constitutional and statutory challenges to the PPACA.

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Administrative – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Final Agency Action – Environmental – Harbor Dredging – Beach Nourishment (access required)

Village of Bald Head Island v. United States Army Corps of Engineers The purpose of the Corps of Engineers’ project was to keep Wilmington’s harbor open, not to nourish Brunswick County beaches; the Corps’ promise to nourish those beaches with any beach-grade dredged material was not a final agency action. Therefore, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff’s complaint that its beach has not been nourished pursuant to the original dredging schedule. Defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted.

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Administrative – Immigration – Asylum Claim – Persecuted Activist — Cameroon (access required)

Tassi v. Holder A citizen of Cameroon who was a university student newspaper editor and political activist in a Southern Cameroon independence movement, who was repeatedly arrested and beaten for her activism, has her case challenging denial of asylum remanded by the 4th Circuit so she may again seek protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT).

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Administrative – Immigration – ‘Alien Smuggling’ – Parents & Children (access required)

Ramos v. Holder A Guatemalan mother and father who entered the U.S. illegally engaged in “alien smuggling” when they followed a pattern of sending each of their four children several thousand dollars at a hotel in Mexico, for the children’s subsequent illegal arrival in the U.S.; the 4th Circuit upholds the Board of Immigration Appeals’ conclusion that the parents lacked the “good moral character” necessary for cancellation of removal.

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Administrative – Prisons & Jails – APA – Council of State – Lethal Injection Protocol – First Impression — Declaratory Judgment (access required)

Conner v. North Carolina Council of State Even though the Council of State is subject to the Administrative Procedure Act, since the Department of Correction is exempt from the APA, when the Council of State reviews the DOC’s lethal injection protocol, the APA does not apply. We modify and affirm the superior court’s dismissal of the petition. Petitioners are DOC inmates who have been sentenced to death by lethal injection.

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