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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Two Indiana decisions today from 7th Circuit; plus an interesting environmental ruling

U.S. v. Perez (ND Ind., Judge Simon) is a 16-page opinion by Judge Kendall (District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, is sitting by designation):

Ramon Perez was indicted for knowingly possessing with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine based on a traffic stop during which the officers recovered a single brick of cocaine weighing 993.9 grams. Perez pleaded guilty to the charged offense and the district court judge sentenced him to 135 months’ incarceration based on the cocaine found during the traffic stop and other drugs located at his home that were recovered later that day. Perez claims that the district court judge erred when he increased his sentence for the drugs retrieved from the residence. Because we find that the district court judge correctly included the other drugs as relevant conduct, we affirm.
In U.S. v. Clint Woods, et al (ND Ind. CJ Miller), an 18-page opinion, Judge Williams writes:
This is a consolidated appeal of the denial of three defendants’ motions to modify their sentences pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). All three defendants were indicted, along with others, on multiple charges in a drug trafficking ring and entered into plea agreements that included appellate waivers. The government maintains we should dismiss the appeals because the waiver bars our review. Because we conclude that § 3582(c)(2) motions do not fall within the waiver’s scope, we hold that the waivers do not bar the defendants’ appeals of the denials of their § 3582(c)(2) motions. However, because we conclude that the district court did not err in denying the motions, we affirm.
In State of Michigan v. U.S. EPA and Forest Co. Potawatomi Community (Adm. Review), a 14-page opinion, Judge Wood writes:
The cultural and religious traditions of the Forest County Potawatomi Community (“the Community”) often require the use of pure natural resources derived from a clean environment. Many years ago, the Community became alarmed by increasing pollution levels in its lakes, wetlands, and forests. To remedy this problem, it submitted a request to the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to redesignate certain tribal lands from Class II to Class I status under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) program of the Clean Air Act (“the Act”). This would have the effect of imposing stricter air quality controls on emitting sources in and around the Community’s redesignated lands.

After nearly fifteen years of administrative proceedings and dispute resolution efforts between the Community and neighboring Wisconsin (which were successful) and Michigan (which were not), the EPA promulgated a final ruling redesignating the Community’s lands to Class I status. It also issued two companion announcements concluding dispute resolution proceedings with Wisconsin and Michigan. Michigan seeks review of these three final administrative rulings. It asserts that the EPA pursued the redesignation in an improper manner and, as a result, needlessly complicated Michigan’s air quality control programs. Because Michigan lacks standing to pursue these claims, we dismiss its petition for review. * * *

The Community has waited over fifteen years for finality on the redesignation of its lands. Michigan’s challenge to the EPA’s redesignation actions raises some important issues about the PSD program’s regulatory structure, but Michigan has failed to allege a cognizable injury in fact and thus lacks standing to pursue this case. As a result, the Community need not wait any longer. We DISMISS the petition for review.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 9, 2009 12:18 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions