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

Capital Habeas Matter, and Environmental and Government Benefits Matters

In Berry v. Astrue, No. 09-35421, plaintiff's appeal from the Social Security Administration's denial of his claim for disability insurance benefits, the court vacated where the ALJ needed to allow plaintiff to prove his contention that drug testing requirements made it physically impossible for him to perform his past relevant work.

In The Wilderness Society, Inc. v. Rey, No. 06-35565, a challenge to the Forest Service's revision of the regulations implementing the Forest Service Decisionmaking and Appeals Reform Act to significantly limit the scope and availability of notice, comment, and appeals procedures, the court dismissed plaintiff's appeal as nonjusticiable where the lack of any linkage between the project at issue and the claimed injury undermined plaintiff's effort to establish standing.

In Towery v. Schriro, No. 08-99022, a capital habeas matter, the court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition where 1) the court was unpersuaded by petitioner's argument that a witness's false testimony was crucial to the prosecution's case; 2) the prosecutor was not obligated to do more than he did to make the defense aware of the witness's prior testimony and the manner in which it was used; and 3) an independent and adequate state default rule applies and federal habeas review was barred regarding alleged judicial bias.

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