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

Employee Can Sue EEOC for Disability Discrimination

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, undaunted by irony, reinstated an employee's disability discrimination claim against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Monday.

Yes, even the EEOC gets sued.

Ninth Circuit: District Court Can Hear No Fly List Challenge

If you think the No Fly List seems like a violation of due process, you’re not alone. The good news? The No Fly List is finally going to be reviewed in federal court.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Oregon district court had improperly dismissed a lawsuit challenging the No Fly List, The Wall Street Journal reports.

9th Cir Grants En Banc Rehearing in DNA Sample Case

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to re-examine a California policy that requires cops to collect DNA from felony suspects, regardless of whether they are convicted, reports the Los Angeles Times.

An 11-judge panel will consider the case, Haskell v. Harris, en banc.

9th Cir on Disney ADA Denial: 'That's Not the World We Live In'

Last week, we told you about Tina Baughman, a mother who wants to traverse Disneyland on a Segway because she has muscular dystrophy. Baughman filed a lawsuit to challenge Disneyland's ban on two-wheeled vehicles and devices, claiming that wheelchairs and scooters are not viable options for her because it is difficult for her to walk or stand from a seated position.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Baughman's wheelchair argument was barred by judicial estoppel because she had claimed in three prior lawsuits that "she has a physical impairment which causes her to rely upon a power scooter or wheelchair for her mobility."

While her claim failed under judicial estoppel, her underlying ADA claim survived.

Church of Scientology Wins in 9th Cir, But Did it Really Win?

It seems that the Church of Scientology experiences renewed interest — both good and bad — every time Tom Cruise’s personal life endures a major shift.

(Maybe that’s why The Village Voice named Cruise as number 4 among the top 25 people crippling Scientology.)

But a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the Church of Scientology on Tuesday could generate far more buzz than Cruise’s personal life.

Judicial Estoppel Gets the Disney Treatment

Today's practitioner tip from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: If your client has been collecting ADA settlements from businesses because they weren't wheelchair-accessible, she can't argue in a lawsuit that she has to use a Segway because wheelchairs are impractical.

That'll just earn you a judicial estoppel ruling.

Ninth Circuit Halts Oil-for-Food Contracts Lawsuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made it harder for plaintiffs to enforce contracts against countries claiming sovereign immunity this week.

In a 2-1 panel decision, the court concluded that Iraq is not liable for the end of two oil-for-food contracts dating from the Saddam Hussein regime, and that the current Iraqi government is insulated from liability under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) because the case did not involve "legally significant" U.S. commercial activity, reports Reuters.

Ninth Circuit Postpones 2013 Judicial Conference

As the saying goes, you can't un-ring a bell. That maxim rings true for judicial conference planning, as well. Once the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals planned a Hawaiian spectacular judicial conference, it was pointless (and wasteful) to cancel it.

But that doesn't mean that the circuit can't try to make amends.

UC Davis Cops Can Be Sued for Pepper Spray Excessive Force

What is with UC Davis cops and pepper spray? Last year, you probably read about the UC Davis cop who pepper-sprayed a row of seated Occupy protesters. The YouTube footage of the incident went viral, and the cop, Lt. John Pike, even became a meme.

But Lt. Pike wasn't the first Davis cop to go wild pepper-spraying non-threatening students. Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a former UC Davis football player, who suffered a permanent injury after police launched pepperball projectiles to disband a party, can sue the cops for using excessive force, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports.

Shocking: 9th Says Taser Had No Duty to Warn of Metabolic Acidosis

Tasers were once again the topic du jour at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday as a three-judge panel decided whether Taser International, in August 2004, was under a duty to warn that repeated exposure to its products could lead to fatal levels of metabolic acidosis.

The Ninth Circuit upheld dismissal of a failure to warn lawsuit against the company, concluding that Taser International had no reason to advise police agencies in 2004 that the stun guns could cause the condition, reports the Los Angeles Times.

House Democrats Weigh in on DOMA Appeal with Amicus Brief

The Department of Justice may want to side-step the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to fight Karen Golinski's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) appeal on First Street, but Democrats in the House of Representatives seem to like their odds before the West Coast court.

Tuesday, 132 House Democrats filed an amicus brief in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act to assist litigation challenging the 1996 law, the Washington Blade reports. The brief is the Democrats' way of letting everyone know that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) isn't so bipartisan after all.

DOJ Wants SCOTUS to Hear Golinski's DOMA Case

It's possible that Karen Golinski's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) challenge won't be resolved in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the past week, both the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) and the Department of Justice have asked the Supreme Court to decide whether DOMA Section 3 is constitutional. The section limits federal programs and benefits for marriage to legal unions of a man and a woman. Now, the federal government is battling itself to resolve whether the provision violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, reports SCOTUSblog.

Justice Department Asks 9th Cir to Rethink Public Broadcasting Ads

The federal government wants the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that would allow public-broadcasting stations to accept political advertisements, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Friday, the Justice Department asked the court for rehearing or en banc review, claiming that the decision in Minority Television Project v. FCC "threatens the noncommercial, educational character of public broadcasting."