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

Public Employee First Amendment Rights Case, Plus Criminal and Immigration Matters

Anthoine v. N. Central Counties Consortium, No. 08-16803, concerned an action claiming that defendant terminated plaintiff public employee for reporting to management that his immediate supervisor had misrepresented the status of the employer's compliance with its legal obligations.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant in part, holding that the evidence plaintiff set forth was not specific and substantial, and did not create a triable issue of fact as to the ultimate issue of gender-based discrimination.  However, the court reversed in part, on the grounds that 1) a report regarding the agency's failure to comply with its legal obligations was clearly relevant to the public's evaluation of the agency's performance; 2) defendants did not show that plaintiff's statements were made pursuant to his official duties; and 3) proximity in time may support an inference of retaliation sufficient to survive summary judgment.

Ponce v. Felker, No. 08-56218, involved a murder prosecution, in which the court of appeals affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition, on the ground that, at the time of petitioner's appeal, it was neither contrary to, nor an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law for the California appellate courts to rule that the forfeiture exception did not require proof of an intent to make the witness unavailable.

Jiang v. Holder, No. 08-73186, concerned a petition for review of the denial of petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture.  The court of appeals granted the petition, holding that petitioner suffered persecution for demonstrating resistance to China's coercive population control policy.

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