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

9th Circuit March 2014 News

9th Circuit's San Francisco Gun Ruling: Correct Review Standard?

This was a curious case. San Francisco passed a pair of laws, one regulating storage of firearms in one's home, one banning the sale of hollow-point ammunition in the city. Note the narrowness of the laws, with the safe storage requirement (in a safe, or with a trigger lock) applying only when the gun isn't on one's person, and the ammo restriction applying to the sale, but not possession or use.

Because of the mildness of the restrictions, the Ninth Circuit upheld the laws, applying a vague form of "intermediate scrutiny," the application of which has been questioned by many.

A Great Decision for Protecting Mentally Ill Inmates

This is one of those decisions that gives you warm and fuzzy feelings about hope for the quietest voices of our legal system.

Kennard Lee Davis is a pro se inmate with schizoaffective disorder. Needless to say, assisting in his representation, or hearing his claims, isn't easy. And he seems to have at least a handful of claims, as he now alleges that he was punished for filing prisoners' rights litigation against the State of California.

His two current claims passed the 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) screening, so the complaints at least assert cognizable claims.

9th Cir. Finally, Predictably Decides Calif. DNA Swabbing Case

This is a disappointing, yet utterly unsurprising result, after a years-long appeals process that was put on hold pending last year's equally unfortunate Maryland v. King decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last year, the High Court held that Maryland's practice of collecting DNA from felons was pretty much no big deal, akin to fingerprinting as a means of identification. Haskell v. Harris is a similar case, challenging a somewhat similar law in California.

So yes, after a pro-California ruling by a panel, some indication that the en banc court was leaning the other way, and the Supreme Court bombshell, California's law stands, and the injunction that would've stopped all DNA collection has been denied.

Alaska Sues DOI Over Oil and Gas Plans

Alaska filed suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) for squashing plans to seismically search for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In a complaint filed Friday in federal district court in Alaska, the Land of the Midnight Sun charged the DOI (and Sally Jewell in her official capacity as Secretary of the Interior) with improperly rejecting an oil and natural gas investigation plan in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), reports the Courthouse News Service.

What are Alaska's arguments and can the feds deny its plans?

3 Quick Tips for New Attorneys Filing in The 9th Circuit

You know the drill: New attorneys practicing in the Ninth Circuit need to be aware of the court's local rules to make sure they don't look too much like a newbie.

In comparison with some other circuits, the Ninth Circuit's rules appear to be slightly more laid back. But even so, federal courts are on the whole much stricter and sterner when it comes to enforcing the rules than your average state court. If you are just starting out in federal practice, here are three quick tips.

America's favorite pastime may be up for debate, but one thing is for sure: The Ninth Circuit is going to hear a case that challenges an antitrust exemption that's been on the books for almost a century.

In a case that is pitting the city of San Jose, California, against Major League Baseball ("MLB"), San Jose will not let up on its dream of luring the Oakland A's to the self-proclaimed "Capital of Silicon Valley."

Will San Jose prevail? We're not sure, but we're going to find out sooner, rather than later.

Gay Juror Ruling Won't Be Appealed, 9th Circuit's Ruling Stands

The gay juror ruling in Smithkline won't be appealed by AbbVie, an Abbott Laboratories spinoff involved in the case.

A representative for the pharmaceutical company explained Monday that it would not appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving the Ninth Circuit's ruling intact, reports Reuters. So, how will Smithkline impact the Ninth Circuit now?

9th Circuit En Banc Panel May Hear YouTube, Concealed Carry Cases

This week is set to be a busy one for en banc review for the Ninth Circuit.

With the "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube stay and California's concealed carry laws on the line, the 11-judge panel may have a lot on its mind.

If they decide to hear the issues, that is.

Crystal Cox Case Ends With a Whimper, Another Amicus

What's the lesson here?

Give a mouse a cookie and he'll want a rehearing?
Don't look a gift opinion in the dicta?
Ask and ye shall receive everything but what you ask for?

Crystal Cox was a landmark free press plaintiff. Her case set the precedent in the Ninth Circuit that bloggers, like me and even her attorney, enjoy the same protections as the traditional media. And she escaped a $2.5 million defamation verdict.

The case could've ended on a positive note, with only a passing mention of her alleged extortionist past. But when she requested a rehearing, and deletion of a non-dispositive sentence in the opinion (which cited a New York Times article about Cox), it drew the attention of a few very angry people.

California Attorney General Harris Seeking to Appeal Concealed Carry

Last month, a Ninth Circuit panel held that the Second Amendment requires the state to allow its citizens to both "keep" and "bear" arms. In plain English, that meant that California had to either allow concealed or open carry in public. Currently, the state leaves it up to local law enforcement agencies' discretion as to whether a person has demonstrated sufficient need for a concealed carry permit. The City and County of San Diego, the defendants in the case, declined to appeal the panel's ruling.

Well concealed carry advocates, you might want to hold off on purchasing that compact pistol with an internal hammer and Triton sights, because California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced late last week that the state is seeking to intervene in the case in order to defend the current "may issue" system.