The Ninth Circuit today decided criminal, civil rights and immigration matters.
Kin v. Holder, No. 05-73079, involved a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioners' asylum application. The Ninth Circuit denied the petition, holding that the Immigration Judge's adverse credibility determination was supported by substantial evidence.
Zetino v. Holder, No. 08-70390, also concerned a petition for review of the BIA's denial of an asylum application. The court of appeals denied the petition on the grounds that 1) because the court could not discover a sufficiently meaningful standard for evaluating the BIA's decision rejecting an untimely brief, it lacked jurisdiction to review petitioner's claim that the BIA abused its discretion in doing so; and 2) the proceedings were not so fundamentally unfair that petitioner was prevented from reasonably presenting his case.
Marez v. Bassett, No. 08-56035, involved an action against a municipal utility regulator alleging that the agency violated the First Amendment by engaging in adverse action against plaintiff because of his public criticism of defendant's procurement procedures. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants. The court of appeals reversed, holding that 1) the city did not "employ" plaintiff in his role as a Small and Local Business Advisory Committee member; and 2) there was evidence that the changes in the procurement process and plaintiff's drop in revenue, were, at least in some measure, retaliation for plaintiff's "expressive conduct."
Finally, in US v. Guerrero, No. 09-30066, defendant was convicted after a trial on drug conspiracy charges. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that there was no evidence that race played any role in the government's decision to strike a prospective juror because neither the prosecutor nor the judge recognized her as a minority.
Editor's Note 2/19/10: The post above has been edited to reflect that the ruling in Kin v. Holder was not based on petitioners' demeanor.