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9th Circuit December 2011 News

Birther Movement Suffers Standing Setback, Have 'No Redressable Claim'

Will the Birther Movement accept defeat after losing a challenge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals?

The Birther Movement, most famously represented by one-time presidential candidate Donald Trump, is fueled by people who doubt that President Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen, one of the constitutional criterions for presidency. Birthers claim that President Obama falsified his Hawaiian birth certificate, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Ninth Circuit has now dismissed the suit.

Kickin' it Old School: DMCA Safe Harbor Ruling Relies on VCR Case

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a YouTube-style video-sharing website was protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor provision in a copyright infringement lawsuit stemming from user-uploaded music videos.

The now-defunct Veoh Networks (Veoh) operated a publicly-accessible website that enabled users to share videos with other users. Universal Music Group (UMG), one of the world’s largest record and music publishing companies, filed a direct and second copyright infringement lawsuit against Veoh in 2007 after Veoh users, without UMG’s authorization, downloaded videos containing UMG-copyrighted songs.

Senate Confirms Morgan Christen for Ninth Circuit in 95-3 Vote

President Obama won a small victory in the U.S. Senate last week as Alaska Supreme Court Justice Morgan Christen was confirmed for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Justice Christen is the second of President Obama's six nominees to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to be confirmed. Judge Mary Murguia was the first judge to earn that distinction.

Court Hears First Amendment Retaliation Appeal Against Sheriff

Wednesday's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc hearing did not go well for America's Toughest Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

Though a three-judge panel dismissed a First Amendment retaliation lawsuit against the Maricopa County sheriff and his cohorts in June based on qualified immunity, the full court seemed to question Arpaio's defense that he should be entitled to immunity because he wasn't directly involved in the arrests at issue in the case.

Prison Officials Get Qualified Immunity in Botched Sentencing

This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that prison officials did not have a clearly-established duty to seek out original court records in response to a prisoner's unsupported claim that he was being imprisoned for a term longer than his ordered sentence. The court granted the officials' request for qualified immunity.

The opinion has the unique distinction of being both well-reasoned, and a miscarriage of justice, a feat we didn't think possible.

No Qualified Immunity for Intentional Omission in Search Warrant Application

Courts will let reasonable mistakes in search warrant applications slide. Egregious errors or intentional omissions, on the other hand, will not be condoned.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a civil rights lawsuit against Santa Maria Police Department Detective Louis Tanore, finding that Tanore was not protected by qualified immunity for a reckless or intentional omission in a search warrant application.

Panel Unlikely to Find Judicial Misconduct in Cal Prop 8 Appeal

California Prop 8 has been a legal rollercoaster.

Those of us along for the ride have watched the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals negotiate twists and turns through issues like ProtectMarriage's standing to defend the law, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for trial videotapes, and allegations of judicial misconduct.

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in two of the three issues before the court in the California Prop 8 challenge: public access to the trial videotapes, and whether or not Judge Vaughn Walker's decision in the trial should be voided on the grounds of judicial misconduct. (The court has deferred consideration on the constitutionality of California Prop 8 while the litigants submit briefs on the California Supreme Court's standing ruling.)

Circuit Orders Review in Jesse Gonzales Cop Killer Death Penalty

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that cop-killer Jesse Gonzales will have another day in court.

Gonzales was convicted in a California state court in 1979 of first degree murder, with a special circumstance finding that he killed a law enforcement officer, Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy Jack Williams, engaged in the lawful pursuit of his duties.

Gonzales was sentenced to death in 1981, and is one of California's longest-serving death row inmates, reports the AP.

Ninth Circuit Says Bone Marrow Compensation is Legal

Broke college students and law students have long relied on selling plasma for extra cash. Last week, the Ninth Circuit ruled that people can also sell blood stem cells, a critical component of bone marrow.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a donor can accept compensation for marrow cells because the cells are blood parts rather than organ parts, reports the Los Angeles Times.

People Get Ready: 9th Circuit Notes for Perry v. Brown Hearing

The Ninth Circuit published a laundry list of announcements this week to prepare the masses for next week's Perry v. Brown Prop 8 hearing on Dec. 8.

The proceedings will be videotaped for broadcast by C-SPAN and NBC-7 San Diego. If watching the coverage on television isn't enough to satisfy your legal curiosity, here's what you need to know about going to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to view all the action in person.