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

Biometrics Cannot Be Compelled

A judge in the Northern District of California has issued an order denying a search warrant due to the warrant seeking to go too far when it comes to smartphones and biometrics.

The warrant not only sought the inspection of smartphones belonging to the individuals identified in the warrant, but also sought to search all smartphones of all individuals discovered on the premises covered by the warrant, and in doing so, would have required those individuals to provide the necessary biometric data, such as a fingerprint, or face, to unlock the device. Judge Kandis Westmore said no.

A three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit has upheld the federal ban on undocumented immigrants possessing firearms.

The case, U.S. v. Torres, involved an undocumented immigrant who was arrested for possession of a firearm, a homemade silencer, bolt cutters, and a stolen bicycle.

Arizona Ballot Harvesting Ban to Be Heard by 9th Circuit

Don't send anyone to the polling place to drop off your mail-in ballot in Arizona.

The state made it a crime, and a federal appeals court upheld the law. That could change since the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to take another look at it.

But it's still a serious crime in Arizona, carrying up to a one-year sentence and a $150,000 fine. Plus, "ballot harvesting" just sounds wrong.

9th Circuit Cites Government Lawyers' Bad Faith in No-Fly Case

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blasted government lawyers for "bad faith" tactics in a case by a former Stanford researcher who was placed on the terrorist no-fly list.

In Ibrahim v. DHS, the en banc panel said the U.S. attorneys "played discovery games, made false representations," and otherwise misused the court process. And that was only the half of it.

The 11-member panel sent the case back to the trial judge to reassess the plaintiff's claim for $3.6 million in attorney's fees. As for plaintiff Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim, she won her case five years ago.

SF Sues Pharma Companies for Opioid Epidemic

San Francisco sued pharmacy companies for pushing opioids on the public by misleading people about the addictive dangers of the prescription drugs.

In City and County of San Francisco v. Purdue Pharma, the municipality alleges that Purdue Pharma and other companies aggressively marketed Oxycontin and other drugs knowing their high potential for abuse. The painkillers have contributed to an epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans.

The lawsuit says the drugs were meant for people who suffer acute pain, but the defendants encourage opioid use for "the masses who suffer from common chronic pain."

Honey Badger Cares About Its Trademarks

If you don't know the honey badger, don't worry. It doesn't care, and that's what made it famous.

"Honey Badger Don't Care" became one of America's hottest brands after Christopher Gordon created a popular YouTube video that went viral. In the National Geographic video, Gordon adds his comedic commentary about how "Honey Badger Don't Care" as the beast attacks and eats just about anything.

In Gordon v. Draper Creative, Inc., Gordon attacked because the defendants used his catchphrases on greeting cards. So, if you care, here's what the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had to say about it.

A recent Ninth Circuit appellate opinion explains that the federal law prohibiting individuals from inducing or encouraging undocumented immigration when they know it will be unlawful is unconstitutional.

Simply put, the court explained that the statute criminalized "encouraging," which triggers First Amendment scrutiny and fails that scrutiny for being overly broad. And while amicus in the case, and other immigration advocates, believe the end result is just, the underlying case's facts might be difficult for those same individuals to stomach.

The federal court down in San Diego recently issued a big, but relatively brief, ruling in the ongoing battle between Apple and Qualcomm. (To give you some perspective on how "ongoing" this has been, the ruling is listed as Document 737, and it was a ruling on a 12(b) motion.)

As reported by Courthouse News Service, Judge Curiel dismissed (without prejudice) 56 separate claims brought by Apple and its contract manufacturers against Qualcomm basically alleging the chipmaker was trying to double dip by selling the chips then demanding unjustified royalties. Notably though, the case has claims flying every which way and seems poised to get a whole lot messier as it gets further litigated.

Montana Employer Can Fire Marijuana User

Marijuana users have been on a high, but what goes up this time comes down.

In Carlson v. Charter Communications, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals turned down a marijuana user who sued his employer for firing him under its drug policy. The plaintiff lost in state court, so he asked the federal court to consider it.

It came down to a question about whether a state law legalizing marijuana trumped the employer's policy to have a drug-free workplace. In a word, the court said "no."

Court Gives Go-Ahead to Racial Bias Case Against Cable Giant

Byron Allen started his career as a comedian, but he wasn't afraid to talk about serious subjects.

In his first television appearance, he stood in front of an audience and joked about his parents beating him as a child. When he grew up to be a television producer, however, he got tired of getting knocked around.

In National Association of African American-Owned Media v. Charter Communications, Allen sued a cable giant for discriminating against African American media companies. Free speech advocates applauded.