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

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Court Upholds California Laws Against Prostitution

Sex sells, but that doesn't make prostitution legal.

That's a quick summary of Erotic Service Provider Legal Education and Research Project v. Gascon. The case drew a lot of attention -- because the plaintiff sued to legalize prostitution -- but the world's oldest profession was outlawed long ago.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said there's no fundamental right to engage in prostitution -- at least not in California.

For a handful of California retailers, a Ninth Circuit decision basically invalidates the state law prohibiting merchants from charging customers an additional fee, or surcharge, for using a credit card. Unfortunately for retailers across the state, the decision only applies to the parties to the action.

Under current California law, a retailer cannot charge customers more for using a credit card. Rather curiously and somewhat hypocritically, under the law, a retailer can legally offer a discount to cash paying customers. Basically, it all boils down to how the price and discount are communicated, which turns this into a First Amendment commercial speech issue.

Rarely do you read a court opinion that explicitly says that the court is reaching the wrong decision. But that is in fact what happened in the Ninth Circuit's recent opinion in the Frudden v. Pilling First Amendment school uniform case which has ping-ponged through the courts since 2011.

In the section aptly titled "Our Disagreement with the Result We Are Required to Reach" the court, not surprisingly, goes into detail as to why it disagrees with the very decision it is bound to render by its own precedent. Fortunately for the plaintiffs in the matter, two parents that objected to their children wearing the uniforms, that controversial decision held that the school's uniform policy was unconstitutional.

The Juliana v. United States matter was heard by a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week. And while some might expect that the most liberal circuit in the nation would have been throwing softballs to plaintiffs' attorney, the tenor of the questioning was equally harsh on both sides.

Notably, prior to the appeal, the Ninth Circuit issued a stay in the matter, pending their review. The case involves a group of children filing suit against the federal government due to its alleged actions that cause and contribute to climate change.

Glassdoor, the job posting website that allows visitors to post reviews about employers, has just been ordered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal to hand over the names of some anonymous reviewers.

Before you get too excited at the prospect of finally finding out which of your former admins talked trash about you, this case is a bit more compelling than the typical Yelp defamation matter. The federal government is seeking the names of former employees that left reviews implicating a business that was engaging in governmental fraud.

Orange County Excessive Force Case Revived

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this video is worth at least 1 million.

Warning. This video contains graphic content and may not be suitable for some audiences. If you watch the video, the question is whether the officer used excessive force.

According to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, it is a question for a jury. That's if the case gets that far.

In a rare bit of good fortune for the family of Anthony Jones, who, in 2010, was tased to death by law enforcement officers, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in their favor, reviving the case.

Mr. Jones's case is rather tragic as he was tased for nearly two minutes straight while being allegedly subdued, after fleeing a traffic stop. At one point, he was being tased by more than one officer concurrently. After all the tasing stopped (when an officer arriving at the scene told the others to stop), Mr. Jones died immediately.

Federal Courts May Legalize Prostitution in California

What would your mother say?

Seriously, what would she say if a federal court rules prostitution is legal? "Oh my goodness!" "Are you kidding me?" "What the ----!?"

Her response might depend on when she was born, but it is a question that a federal court will soon decide. And who knows what the answer will be.

Prisoner Has Right to Complain, Threaten to Sue

John Thomas Entler, a prisoner at Washington State Penitentiary, was in no position to complain.

But he did, telling prison officials they wrongly charged his prison account $200. He also complained about being forced to do certain work.

That got him 10 days of cell confinement and 15 days lost time in the yard and gym. After a failed complaint in federal court, an appeals court finally gave him a break in Entler v. Gregoire.

9th Cir. Decides Mistaken Identity Case: Cops Arrest Dad on Warrant for Son

There is a lesson in this police brutality case, and it's not about the Constitution. It's about having the same constitution as a suspect in a criminal case.

Merritt L. Sharp, III, shared the same name with his son, Merritt L. Sharp, IV, as well as some naturally recurring physical traits. The big differences were their age and a record; Sharp IV was a felon.

Those obvious differences escaped police officers, who arrested the dad, handcuffed him, twisted his arm and tore his rotator cuff, threw him in the back of a police car, searched him and his house -- all on a warrant for his son. You'd of thought the police would've realized their mistake a little sooner.