U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit News and Information Blog

U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Add Anna Smith to the growing list of plaintiffs involved in lawsuits against the NSA's surveillance program. Smith is as innocuous as they come -- "a mother of two who lives in rural Idaho, works the night shift as a nurse and goes to the gym often," according to The Washington Post. Last year, she (with help from her lawyer/husband) sued the government for violating her Fourth Amendment rights by collecting her telephone data without a warrant.

Although Smith hasn't been particularly injured, her case is notable in that the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho took evidence of NSA wiretapping provided by Edward Snowden as grounds for believing that she, like millions of other Americans with no connection to terrorism, is being spied on. Still, the District Court dismissed Smith's Fourth Amendment claims.

Now, as Boise Weekly reports, she's appealing to the Ninth Circuit.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

Who could've predicted this? Perhaps anyone who has been watching the string of executions that have been carried out over the past few months -- a series of cruel and unusual science experiments using novel combinations of drugs often sourced from unregulated compounding pharmacies. Isn't this exactly why death row inmates are fighting for access to information on drugs and the execution team?

And so it goes again: witnesses say that the inmate spent the next two hours gasping for air before finally succumbing to the drugs. Meanwhile, his lawyers raced to the courthouse to file a mid-execution stay, hoping to end the unusual, and possibly cruel, punishment being doled out to Joseph Rudolph Wood.

Here's another interesting death penalty ruling out of the West Coast.

The Ninth Circuit just did what a number of other courts have refused to do: forced a state to turn over information on the source of execution drugs and the credentials of the executioners, while granting a stay of execution in the interim.

In dissent, Judge Jay Bybee calls the inmate's First Amendment right of access claim "novel" and argues that the right of access dispute, which would apply to all citizens and not just to the inmate, does not justify delaying an execution more than two decades in the making.

The Ninth Circuit meets in Pasadena, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, but since we're in the Bay Area, and have firsthand experience living in San Francisco, we thought we'd take some time to give you an insider's view of the court when it sits in "The City."

If you are coming to San Francisco to argue an appeal before the Ninth Circuit, there are really three things you need to know (besides your case): food, parking and tech.

We've got a twin pack of updates for you on this midsummer Monday afternoon, both involving preliminary injunctions, video content, and non-traditional distribution mediums.

In one case, which pits a major television network against an alternative video distribution medium (it's almost Aereo part II), the panel declined to issue a preliminary injunction. In the other, we have a bit of backtracking (but not enough) by the panel in an amended opinion in a dangerous precedential case that imposed prior restraint on speech on the basis of a questionable copyright claim.

If we had to analogize Arizona to a child, we'd say it was suffering from "middle child syndrome." What else could explain the policies and legislation that comes out of that state? Perhaps Arizona just wants more attention from her parents the Federal Government. (Sidebar: Jan Brewer is the second child -- just saying).

The challenged Arizona law du jour is Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann 28-3153(D), which prohibits the issuance of licenses to young immigrants (under Gov. Brewer's executive order and interpretation). Read on to see why another Arizona policy didn't make the cut.

We've got a quick roundup of updates for you this morning on three major issues we've been following for awhile: gay marriage bans, conversion therapy, and the Mount Soledad Memorial Cross.

The Ninth Circuit set a single date for oral arguments in disputes out of three states, including Hawaii (which has legalized gay marriage since the case was first filed) and Nevada (where state officials have pretty much given up). Meanwhile, it seems the legal battle over gay conversion therapy is over, with California's ban remaining intact.

And finally, the Mount Soledad Cross is still standing, and may continue to do so, even with the Supreme Court denying review earlier today.

It's a big day in the Ninth Circuit for two of the biggest legal topics right now: marriage equality and national security. In one case, the appellate court declined to re-hear a case involving a Batson challenge to a gay juror, which leaves a holding that all-but-guarantees marriage equality in the Ninth Circuit remains intact.

And in a second case, now on remand to a district court in Oregon, a judge just ruled that our nation's "No-Fly List," which keeps those who are suspected of having ties to terrorism off of planes but has no procedures to challenge inclusion on the list, is unconstitutional.

In 2010, Los Angeles officials gathered for a "Town Hall on Homelessness," a forum where Venice residents complained about the prevalence of homeless individuals sleeping in their cars. City officials and high-ranking LAPD officers attended, assured residents that they would reemphasize enforcement of an existing ordinance prohibiting living in one's car.

How? They formed a task force of twenty-one officers that were to use Section 85.02 to cite and arrest homeless people who were in violation of the statute. As part of this enforcement, officers ticketed or arrested a man waiting to volunteer at his church, a woman driving her RV through Venice, and a guy waiting out a rainstorm in his car, amongst others. None were caught sleeping in their vehicles, and some of them even had proof that they slept elsewhere, such as a local shelter.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

If you saw "The Monuments Men," released earlier this year, then you know that Allied Forces discovered large collections of Nazi-looted art during World War II. Far from being an historical account, the repercussions of the Nazi's looting and forced sale of valuable pieces of art is still an issue that generations of families are dealing with.

In the latest case of an heir's attempt to receive what is rightfully hers, the Ninth Circuit has revived a sensitive controversy that is far from over, reports The Times of Israel.