9th Circuit Civil Rights Law News - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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The Ninth Circuit declined to reinstate President Trump's immigration ban yesterday, finding that the government had shown neither "a likelihood of success on the merits," nor any evidence that a failure to resume the program "would cause irreparable injury."

The decision is bound to be picked over by lawyers, politicians, and possibly the Supreme Court. But along with the court's words, there is plenty of insight to be gained from the court's citations, which give us a sort of peek, one-level down, at how the court viewed the immigration dispute and its role in it.

The Ninth Circuit won't be lifting an order enjoining enforcement of President Trump's executive order barring travel from seven majority-Muslim nations and the resettlement of refugees.

In a per curiam decision, the three-judge panel ruled just moments ago that the administration "has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that the failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury." Last Friday, Washington State won a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the ban after it sued, alleging that the executive order violated the Constitution and federal immigration law. The ruling means that Trump's immigration ban will remain on hold for now, while the case continues to play out.

Yesterday's oral arguments in Washington v. Trump might have been the most popular arguments ever held in the Ninth Circuit. More than 40,000 people 137,000 people have listened along to the arguments, which were streamed live on the Ninth's YouTube page.

What did they hear? A passionate, occasionally messy, debate about the president's executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations and judges that seemed, at times, skeptical of the government's position. Here are the highlights.

The Department of Justice yesterday urged the Ninth Circuit to reinstate President Trump's executive order banning refugee resettlement in the United States and halting immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations. The move comes just days after a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order, stopping enforcement of the EO nationwide.

That TRO, the Justice Department argued in its reply filed yesterday afternoon, is unjustified and "vastly overbroad." Here is a quick look at their arguments.

It's been a busy weekend for lawyers fighting over President Trump's immigration ban. On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order pausing the enforcement of ban. While the President took to Twitter to decry the outcome (and the judge), Department of Justice lawyers moved quickly for an emergency stay in the Ninth. Then, on Sunday morning, the Ninth rejected the government's request, allowing the TRO to stand for the time being.

Here's what has happened so far, and what you can expect in the days ahead.

On Friday, Trump issued an executive order barring visitors, immigrants, and refugees from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States. Soon after, lawyers began swarming America's major airports, seeking to file habeas petitions on behalf of those detained or turned away. By Saturday night, a judge in the Eastern District of New York had issued a limited stay. Stays from district courts in California and Washington State soon followed.

Then today, as the chaos surrounding the immigration ban continued to play out, Washington State became the first state to sue the administration over the order -- putting the West Coast and the Ninth Circuit at the center of the legal battle against Trump's immigration ban.

A federal appeals court ruled the California legislature wrongly carved out a law to help workers' unions in lawsuits against their employers.

In a final order to elaborate its earlier decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals explained that the Legislature passed a "safe harbor" provision in Assembly Bill 1513 to gain the support of the the United Farm Workers of America. The UFW was engaged in litigation against one the plaintiffs at the time, and the safe harbor provision denied them a defense in the case.

"The only reason the carve-outs were included in the final bill was to procure the support of the UFW," the court said in upholding an Equal Protection claim while rejecting a Bill of Attainder claim. "A law making a defendant ineligible to assert an affirmative defense in a civil lawsuit simply does not fit within that category of legislative action."

Woman Shot by Police for Holding a Knife Can Bring Excessive Force Claim

An Arizona police officer must stand trial for shooting a woman who was walking in her driveway with a knife, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a lower court that had dismissed the case on a motion for summary judgment. Judge William K. Sessions III said a jury should decide whether the officer used excessive force. He also said the officer was not, without further proceedings in the excessive force case, entitled to immunity.

"(A) jury ... could find that she had a constitutional right to walk down her driveway holding a knife without being shot," Sessions said in the unanimous decision.

A Ninth Circuit panel recently upheld a new California law that requires licensed pregnancy clinics to inform women about publicly funded family planning services, including contraception and abortion services. The law was passed after the state legislature found that women often did not know about the public services available to them and that religious clinics misled them about their options.

The court rejected religious clinics' contention that the law violated their right to free speech and freedom of religion last week, ruling that the state's disclosure law did not violate the clinics' rights.

Hawaii's Open Primary Laws Are Constitutional, 9th Circuit Rules

The Democratic Party has failed to prove that Hawaii's open primary system "severely burdens" the party's associational rights, according to the Independent Voter Project. The open primary system allows members formally registered with another party to vote for nominees outside of party lines.

The decision is the correct one. The Democratic Part of Hawaii brought a rather flimsy argument that was rightfully dismissed. After all, how can the opportunity to vote outside of one's typical associated group be a violation of one's right to freely associate? Isn't that encouraging free association?