Cure Land, LLC v United States Department of Agriculture

Cure appealed the district court order approving Department’s removal of land owned by Cure from a finding of no environmental impact for a conservation project. The panel affirmed. It first held that it had jurisdiction to hear the appeal as Department’s finding of no environmental impact as to the other land involved in the project ended its decision-making process and legal consequences flowed from the finding as it could implement the plan now on the included land. The panel rejected Cure’s argument that the finding violated the National Environmental Policy Act because the language of the finding could be read to say nothing about impacts including Cure’s and would have and thus the fining was consistent with department’s environmental assessment.

United States v Womack

The government appealed the grant of Womack’s motion to reduce sentence. The panel reversed and remanded for entry of an order of dismissal. It held that while the district court correctly applied the reduced drug weight equivalencies for cocaine during its consideration of the motion to reduce, it incorrectly failed to apply the increased equivalencies for methamphetamine as both were applicable. It held that the failure to use the methamphetamine equivalencies was revisable error as applying both new sets of equivalencies does not result in a lower guideline range and thus dismissal was the correct outcome here. It also held that the equivalent drug weights in Womack’s earlier appeal of his sentence did not control as they were made under different equivalency tables.

United States v Marquez

Marquez appealed a sentencing enhancement. The panel affirmed. It held that there was plain error in the district court finding that Marquez was an organizer even though it did not articulate a factual basis for the enhancement because the evidence presented that Marquez set up a drug buy, collected the money for the buy, recruited couriers and gave the couriers instructions was sufficient to prove the enhancement and thus there was neither a procedural or substantive error in imposing the enhanced sentence.

Estate of Reat v Rodriguez

Estate petitioned for panel and en banc rehearing in this case involving qualified immunity for 911 operator Rodriguez. The panel granted the petition in part and issued an amended opinion. The full court, 8-4, denied the en banc petition.