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


Ryan Bounds wasn't the first, and won't be the last, of President Trump's controversial picks for the federal courts, especially given his hopes of reshaping the Ninth Circuit. Bounds was nominated to fill a vacancy on the Ninth, however, as his confirmation vote was set to hit the Senate floor, it was announced that the nomination was withdrawn.

Apparently, Republican Senator Tim Scott, who happens to be the only African American Republican in the Senate (and one of only three total), took issue with nominee Bounds's history of racially and ethnically charged (and insensitive) writings. Even Bounds seemed embarrassed by it. Though Scott seemed to exercise extreme decorum in his public statement, commentators didn't need to hear much more to understand that Bounds's nomination was too controversial.

Court Upholds Injunction Against California's Gun Magazine Ban

Californians have walked down gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, but the courts are drawing a line.

In the latest round, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an order blocking a voter-approved ban on the high-capacity magazines. It puts part of Proposition 63 on hold pending a trial in Duncan v. Becerra.

For gun owners, it was bad enough when California outlawed the sale of the devices in 2000. But Prop. 63 would have made people who already bought the magazines surrender them or go to jail.

ACLU Lawsuit: Get an F, Go to Jail

We've all heard of kids getting grounded for bad grades, but sending them to jail sounds ridiculous.

In a federal lawsuit, however, the American Civil Liberities Union says Riverside County is criminalizing bad grades. According to reports, the local school districts are "funneling students into the criminal justice system."

The ACLU wants to dismantle the Youth Accountability Team, which is run by the county probation department. It puts "at risk" youth on six-month's informal probation to divert them from criminal activity.

Senate Confirms Hawaii Attorney to Ninth Circuit

Even though he's never been a judge, Mark Bennett will be one of the most experienced among his peers when he takes his seat on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

That's because Bennett will join the panel at the seasoned age of 65. He is the oldest Trump appointee, and older than 80 percent of Obama's appellate choices.

The Senate confirmed Bennett to take the place of Judge Richard Clifton, who was almost the same age as Bennett when he assumed senior status. So it was a seamless transition in more ways than one.

The massive Volkswagen not-actually-clean diesel scandal seems to be winding down, at least in terms of legal action in the U.S. While the most recent settlement was approved by the Northern District Court of California, there were still a few hurdles to clear (namely objections to the approved settlement).

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the objections and has approved the settlement, leaving practically no roadblocks between bamboozled consumers and the eventual payday from the German automaker. The $10 billion settlement covers almost half a million vehicles. This settlement, when added to the tally of other U.S. settlements, brings the total damages VW agreed to pay up to around $25 billion.

9th Circuit Chops Down Artists' Royalty Law

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals chopped down California's royalties law for visual artists -- again.

In 2015, the federal appeals court said one part of the California Resale Royalties Act was unconstitutional. The artists sued again, and wound up right back where they started from.

In Close v. Southeby's, Inc., the Ninth Circuit said federal law preempts the state law and applies only to art sold before the U.S. Copyright Act. As a result, the artists litigated for seven years over one year of resale royalties.

BBC Asks California Federal Court for Dr. Who Leakers

Who leaked footage of the upcoming season of Doctor Who, the famous science fiction television series?

That's what the producers want to know, and they have filed suit to find out. The leak is significant, the trades say, because it is the first season to star a female Doctor.

If you don't know who is Doctor Who, that's probably because it's a British production. In any case, it will soon be airing in an American court near you.

The federal district court in San Francisco recently rejected the City of San Francisco and City of Oakland's lawsuit against several major oil companies. The cities vow that the case is not over, signaling a likely Ninth Circuit appeal.

The case claims that the oil companies produce and sell the oil with full knowledge that it is harming the environment, causing climate change and rising sea levels. The cities sought to hold the companies liable for the future damages that climate change is expected to bring about, particularly if nothing is done to change course. Though Judge Alsup dismissed the case, the ruling isn't all bad for environmental advocates.

Oakland's Suit Against Wells Fargo Moves Forward

Wells Fargo will have to answer for property tax losses in Oakland, based on evidence that the bank caused hundreds of foreclosures in the city.

Judge Edward Chen said the city had enough evidence to prove a connection between the bank's loan practices, subsequent foreclosures, and lost property taxes. However, the judge dismissed the city's claim for municipal costs from abandoned homes in the area.

Scandal after scandal, it's another case that shows how far the bank has fallen since its storied days. It also shows how far plaintiffs will go to hitch a ride on the Wells Fargo wagon.

DOE Must Stop Collecting Loans From Corinthian Students

The U.S. Education Department cannot collect students loans from thousands of former students of the defunct Corinthian Colleges, a federal judge said.

Judge Sallie Kim clarified an earlier ruling because the education department had resumed collections based on "partial forgiveness." The department acted recently after denying 8,600 student claims.

The students' plight began years ago when Corinthian Colleges defrauded them about job opportunities while raking in loans they could not repay. The latest ruling gives them some relief, but their nightmare is not over.