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

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If you follow legal news at all, you've likely heard about the controversy surrounding Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In response, the former chief justice, who has served on the Ninth Circuit since 1985, announced his abrupt retirement, effective immediately, on December 18, 2017.

Not two weeks after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, Judge Kozinski felt compelled to step down from the bench. As his official statement explains, he does not feel that he can be an effective judge while fighting these allegations. Additionally, he expressed concern over the reputation of the federal bench if he did not step down.

Kozinski Joins the List of Weinsteins

Few names reverberate in the media today like 'Weinstein.'

It's no longer just a name; it's a label. If you see it in a headline, it means "a sexual harasser who used his power to prey on women."

"Kozinski" is like that. It used to mean a judge of exceptional intellect and a talent for writing, but it doesn't mean that anymore.

9th Circuit Considers Terrorism Liability Claim Against Twitter

Joshua Arisohn, an attorney suing Twitter for enabling terrorists, sees the problem differently than most social media users.

Arguing to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he said social media companies may not be legally liable for content on their websites, but they should be liable for giving social media accounts to terrorists.

"Handing someone a tool that can be used to create content is not the same as disseminating content," Arisohn said. However, it's a hard task to argue around the law and judges who have already dismissed such cases.

Ninth Circuit Icon Judge Harry Pregerson Dies

Many Californians know the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange, but they don't know what the judge had to do with it.

Pregerson, who died at 94, has a legacy in Southern California for stopping the 105 Freeway until construction complied with environmental laws. But his legacy on the court reaches much farther than the freeway.

"He was larger than life," said Dean Kevin Johnson of the UC Davis School of Law.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Yelp Reviews Against Fraud Claims

Everybody knows that bad reviews can hurt business, but it's what you don't know that really hurts.

That's what happened to the plaintiffs in a case against Yelp, the online review site. After news broke about complaints against the company, the plaintiffs alleged their stock depreciated because of the complaints.

But in Curry v. Yelp, Inc., the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals basically said the plaintiffs couldn't prove what they didn't know.

Youth to Argue Climate Change at 9th Circuit

Youth aged 9 to 21 will get their day in court in a climate-change case, and not in a moot-court sort of way.

In Juliana et al v. United States, the young plaintiffs want the federal government to change the way it deals with global warming and fossil fuels. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced it will hear arguments about whether to push the case towards trial.

The Trump administration filed a petition to stay discovery in the case and to dismiss it instead. If denied, the administration may have to confront scientific evidence the President has already dismissed.

Judge Blocks Trump's Sanctuary Cities Order

President Trump's battle with courts over immigration continued as a judge blocked his executive orders against sanctuary cities.

This time, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a permanent injunction against the President's order to cut funds from cities that provide some refuge to immigrants. Judge William Orrick had temporarily blocked the order in April after San Francisco and Santa Clara counties sued.

"The Counties have demonstrated that the Executive Order has caused and will cause them constitutional injuries by violating the separation of powers doctrine and depriving them of their Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights," Orrick said.

'Bikini Baristas' Argue Freedom of Exposure

Everett city attorneys probably paid too much attention to detail in their clothing ordinance targeting bikini baristas, according to a lawsuit.

The ordinance says the servers must cover "minimum body areas" at all times, including: "breast/pectorals, stomach, back below the shoulder blades, buttocks, top three inches of legs below the buttocks, pubic area and genitals."

Even more cringeworthy, it says the women may not expose "more than one-half of the part of the female breast located below the top of the areola" and the "bottom one-half of the anal cleft."

Court Clears the Way for Flushable Wipes Case

When you put something down the toilet, you expect that to be the end of it.

But one action typically leads to another. In a case over flushable wipes, an allegation without damages led to a dismissal.

Jennifer Davidson sued Kimberly-Clark over its wipes, but a federal court of appeals reversed the decision against her. That's right, the trial court had flushed her case.

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.