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No Second Amendment Right to Sell Guns, 9th Circuit Rules

It may be the worst of times for gun sellers in America, or at least in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Valley Guns and Ammo wanted to open a store in Alameda County, California, but the county limited gun sales to areas at least five hundred feet from residential zones, liquor stores, schools, and day care centers.

The business owners sued on Second Amendment grounds, but a trial judge dismissed the case and the appeals court affirmed. In the shadow of the Las Vegas shooting, it's a battle gun sellers are not winning.

Ninth Circuit: No Hovercraft on National Park River

No paved roads access the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, where Alaska permits locals to hunt for subsistence and sport.

John Sturgeon wanted to hunt for moose among an estimated 175,000 of the creatures in the state. So he traveled by hovercraft along the rivers, until two national park rangers stopped him.

Sturgeon sued, and the U.S. Supreme Court sided with him. But somehow, while going up and down the court system, Sturgeon lost his way.

Officer to Stand Trial for Shooting Teen

Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez died with a plastic gun in his hand.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Gelhaus said he thought it was an assault rifle. It was a pellet gun.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the officer should face trial for shooting the boy in Estate of Andy Lopez v. Gelhaus.

Court Jolts Sugary Drink Warning Law in San Francisco

'Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy' -- Check.

"This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm" -- Check.

"Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay" -- Wait, what?

That's what a federal appeals court said, too. Turning back a San Francisco ordinance that would require warning labels on soda advertisements, the appeals court said -- uh no.

Judges Push Back Travel Ban Against Family Members, Refugees

That Hawaiian judge stopped President Trump -- again.

Judge Derrick Watson, slighted by Trump's legal general as that "judge sitting on an island in the Pacific," blocked the president's controversial travel ban in March. The Trump administration appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which temporarily allowed a modified ban, but one issue came back to Watson:

What about relatives of U.S. citizens who travel from those Muslim-majority nations? Watson struck the administration's ban on certain relatives, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him -- again.

It's headed for another Supreme Court showdown, but this time the president is on the outside looking in. That's because the Supreme Court crafted the modification that Watson applied to extended family members.

High School Football Coach Loses Prayer Case

How about a Hail Mary?

It's a traditional football pass, but a prayer on the field is going too far. At least, that's what the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.

"Striking an appropriate balance between ensuring the right to free speech and avoiding the endorsement of a state religion has never been easy," wrote Judge Milan Smith, Jr.

It was difficult decision because the court had to consider the right of a popular football coach to kneel at the 50-yard line and pray for his players after high school football games.

California's 30-Day Impound Law Violates 4th Amendment

If police impound your client's car for driving on a suspended license, chances are the police won't give it back until the client pays a hefty fine and penalties.

In California, it also means the client won't get the car for 30 days. Or so it used to be, until one feisty driver sued the police for violating her Fourth Amendment rights.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said police unlawfully held onto a driver's car after she presented a valid driver's license and offered to pay the fees. The court in Brewster v. Beck said she was entitled to reclaim her property and pursue damages.

9th Circuit Affirms California's Ban on Liquor Store Ads

Reversing its previous decision, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed California's ban on advertising by alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers in liquor stores.

The en banc court reversed an earlier three-judge panel in the case. Ruling 10-1 in Retail Digital Network v. Prieto, the majority said the ban did not violate the advertiser's commercial speech rights to place ads in liquor stores under California Business and Professions Code Section 25503(h).

"This is not the first time we have considered such a challenge Section 25503(h)," Judge Richard Paez wrote for the court. "Thirty years ago, in Actmedia, Inc. v. Stroh, 830 F.2d 957 (9th Cir. 1986), we rejected a First Amendment challenge to that provision."

9th Hands Trump Another Travel Ban Loss

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt another blow to President Trump's travel ban orders, saying that immigration policy is "not a one-person show."

"We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress," the court said in State of Hawaii v. Trump.

It is the second court of appeals to rule against the president's latest travel ban. The first appellate decision, issued by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judges Can't Routinely Shackle Defendants

A federal appeals court ruled that judges cannot shackle criminal defendants routinely, and must consider each defendant's circumstances on a case-by-case basis before imposing the restraints.

In a split decision, the majority of the en banc panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said it is unconstitutional to shackle defendants in court because it contravenes their presumption of innocence. It doesn't matter whether the proceeding is before a jury, a judge, or in a routine appearance.

"A presumptively innocent defendant has the right to be treated with respect and dignity in a public courtroom, not like a bear on a chain," the court said in United States v. Sanchez-Gomez.