Agriculture, Immigration and Tort Cases - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Agriculture, Immigration and Tort Cases

Guerrero-Silva v. Holder, No. 05-77420, involved a petition for review of the BIA's order removing petitioner from the U.S.  The court of appeals dismissed the petition, holding that petitioner's drug conviction under California Health and Safety Code section 11361(b) qualified as a controlled substance offense under 8 U.S.C. section 1227(a)(2)(B)(i).

Geographic Expeditions, Inc. v. Estate of Lhotka, No. 09-15069, concerned proceedings arising from an individual's death from high altitude sickness while on an expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro.  The court of appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of petitioner-guided expedition company's petition to compel arbitration for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, on the grounds that 1) applied a preponderance of the evidence standard to its determination of whether petitioner met the "amount in controversy" requirement for diversity jurisdiction, when the legal certainty standard in fact applied; and 2) when it held that a clause in the arbitration agreement limiting damages to $16,831 precluded federal jurisdiction, because the existence of a valid defense to plaintiff's claim on the face of the complaint did not preclude jurisdiction.

National Meat Ass'n. v. Brown, No. 09-15483, involved the State of California's appeal from a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of California Penal Code section 599f, which banned the slaughter and inhumane handling of nonambulatory animals, against federally regulated swine slaughterhouses.  The Ninth Circuit vacated the injunction, holding that 1) 21 U.S.C. section 678 preempted state regulation of the "premises, facilities and operations" of slaughterhouses, but section 599f dealt with none of these; 2) it was not physically impossible to comply with both section 599f and the Federal Meat Inspection Act; and 3) plaintiff failed to show a likelihood of irreparable injury or that the balance of the equities and the public interest tipped in its favor as to section 599f(e)'s humane handling provision.

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