U.S. Ninth Circuit: February 2012 News
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9th Circuit February 2012 News

Boehner, BLAG Will Appeal DOMA Ruling

Republican leaders are appealing last week’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Attorneys filed the appeal on behalf of House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy on Friday, reports The Washington Post.

Ninth Circuit Upholds California DNA Act

A suspect may be innocent until proven guilty, but any suspect arrested for a serious crime in California can be swabbed for a DNA sample.

Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a provision of California's DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act (DNA Act), which requires law enforcement officers to collect DNA samples from all adults arrested for felonies. California law enforcers have identified more than 10,000 offenders by using their DNA, reports The Wall Street Journal.

ProtectMarriage Asks for Prop 8 En Banc Rehearing

We all knew that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Prop 8 ruling wasn't the end of the Perry v. Brown battle; the question, however, was whether ProtectMarriage would take its fight to the full Ninth Circuit, or if it would skip an en banc rehearing request and head straight to the Supreme Court.

We got our answer Monday.

No Sympathy for Prosecutorial Misconduct Discretion Plea

Publicity, according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, is a two-way street. This week, the Ninth Circuit rejected a motion to eliminate a prosecutor's name from an opinion that alleged the attorney had engaged in prosecutorial misconduct.

The prosecutor in question is Arizona Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Albert, who allegedly misrepresented a drug defendant's prior statements when trying to impeach her trial testimony. (Brief thanks to Jonathan Turley for bringing this opinion to our attention.)

Plaintiff Must Allege Unreasonable Safety Hazard in CLRA Claim

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court decision to dismiss a case against Hewlett-Packard, finding that the district court did not err in requiring Plaintiffs to allege the existence of an unreasonable safety defect.

Cass Wilson sued Hewlett-Packard (HP) alleging that the computer giant concealed a design defect in its Pavilion Notebook computers that manifested after the expiration of the warranty in violation of California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and Unfair Competition Law (UCL).

Roommate Discrimination is Legal on Roommate.com: 9th Cir.

Hollywood has made us all-too-aware of the dangers of a bad roommate, thanks to movies like Single White Female, but would stiletto-based homicides even be part of the cinematic zeitgeist if roommate queries could not include a sex-limiting criterion?

Perhaps we'll never know. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that roommate discrimination is legal, ruling that Fair Housing Act (FHA) anti-discrimination provisions do not extend to the selection of roommates, reports Thomson Reuters News & Insight.

Ninth Circuit Announces Improvements to the Court Experience

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals may catch a lot of flack as the “most liberal court” in the land, but at least the court is trying to make the circuit and its federal feeder courts more pleasant for attorneys and jurors.

The Ninth Circuit announced two initiatives this week that may be of interest to appellate practitioners: a new jury video and a new group of Appellate Lawyer Representatives.

Curious as to how the Obama administration wants its new prosecutorial discretion directive interpreted in immigration appeals? So is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Monday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit halted the deportation of seven appellants pending clarification from the Obama administration about the prosecutorial discretion policy it announced in 2011.

Perry v. Brown: Ninth Circuit Says Prop 8 is Unconstitutional

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this morning in Perry v. Brown that California Prop 8 is unconstitutional, but that doesn't mean that wedding bells will start pealing for the state's gay couples. The court's repeal of the same-sex marriage ban is on hold pending further review from an en banc Ninth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.

Unlike now-retired District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling in the case, the Ninth Circuit panel did not find that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry. Instead, the narrowly-written decision only applies to couples in California, where the right for same-sex couples to marry was granted, then rescinded, reports the Huffington Post.

Will Next President Cause a Ninth Circuit Ideological Shift?

Rick Santorum wants to break the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals into pieces. And maybe banish the circuit’s judges to Guam.

“Realistically, we can probably do something that’s actually been proposed a lot in the past, which is to take the Ninth Circuit … and cut it in two, and take maybe all the judges and stick them in California, and then give all these states who have had to suffer under the reign of terror of California judges and give them their own court so they can actually reflect the values of the Western states,” Santorum told the Huffington Post.

Bare Allegations in Civil Rights Lawsuit Beat 12(b)(6) Motion

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that a California foster child who was sexually-assaulted by his foster brother could proceed with his civil rights lawsuit against Tulare County Child Welfare Services.

The foster child, AE, alleged that Tulare County and its employee social workers failed to intervene prior to the assault, despite their knowledge of escalating threats against him.

Blackout: Prop 8 Trial Videos Will Remain Sealed

At least one aspect of the contentious Proposition 8 litigation is now resolved. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that the Prop 8 trial videos will not be released.

U.S. District Judge James Ware caused quite stir last year when he ruled that Prop 8 trial Judge Vaughn Walker's personal recordings of the trial could be released for broadcast because there was a common-law right of public access applied to the tapes. Prop 8 supporters opposed the release of the tapes.