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9th Circuit May 2012 News

No Evidence of Age Discrimination in KPIX Reporter Termination

It's not easy to prove a TV discrimination claim, but that doesn't stop television personalities and hopefuls from filing employment discrimination lawsuits.

In April, two prospective contestants for The Bachelor filed a class action lawsuit against ABC for racial discrimination. In a far less publicized case out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, two television reporters lost their age discrimination claims on Tuesday after failing to provide proof that a TV station discriminated against them due to their ages, reports The Associated Press.

Judge Rules CalPERS Must Cover Same-Sex Couples

California's same-sex couples won another federal court victory over the Defense of Marriage Act last week. Oakland-based District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled on Thursday that the California Public Employees' Retirement System, commonly known as CalPERS, must extend long-term care insurance to same-sex spouses and partners, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Judge Wilken is the second federal judge in California to rule that DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional. In February, Judge Jeffrey White ruled DOMA is unconstitutional as applied to Karen Golinski, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals employee. The Golinski ruling is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference: As Bad as GSA's Vegas Trip?

The public rarely seems interested in judicial conferences, but the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in August will be an exception.

As you’ve probably heard by now, the 2012 Judicial Conference will be August 13-16 at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Maui, Hawaii. In light of the recent fallout at the General Services Administration (GSA) over that agency’s 2010 extravaganza in Las Vegas, it’s understandable that a trip to Maui would raise a few eyebrows.

Ninth Circuit Schedules DOMA Appeal for September

Mark your calendars: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider whether the federal government may deny health benefits to the same-sex spouse of a court employee the week of September 10, reports Metropolitan News-Enterprise.

Though the House of Representatives Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) had petitioned for speedy, en banc hearing on the matter, their request was denied on Tuesday. (Chief Judge Kozinski and Judge Reinhardt did not participate in consideration of en banc hearing.)

Senate Confirms Paul Watford for Ninth Circuit Bench

After seven months of confirmation limbo, the Senate confirmed Los Angeles attorney Paul Watford for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday evening by a 61-34 vote, reports The Hill.

Watford will be the second African American on the court.

Three Cups of Tea Lawsuit: Can Readers Sue an Author for Lying?

Author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson beat a fraud lawsuit over his best-selling book Three Cups of Tea last month in federal court, but the plaintiffs in the case aren't finished. Thursday, attorneys for Mortenson's riled-up readers in Montana and California filed a notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, reports The Associated Press.

The plaintiffs claim that Mortenson intentionally made up facts to drive books sales and donations to his charity, the Central Asia Institute (CAI). Specifically, they have accused Mortenson, (along with CAI, co-author David Oliver Relin, and Penguin Group), of racketeering, fraud, deceit, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment, reports Outside.

Community Caretaking Exception: 9th Cir Overturns Pretextual Ruse

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement does not apply to a vehicle that was impounded and searched as a result of a pretextual stop.

In 2009, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Todd Hankel asked a marked police unit to develop a lawful reason to stop Jesus Cervantes because he believed that Cervantes was involved in drug trafficking. In response to Hankel's request, Officer Sanchez and Officer Colley stopped Cervantes for failure to come to a complete stop behind the limit line at an intersection.

ACLU Asks Ninth Circuit for No Fly List Due Process

"Let's say you want to fly back to Washington, and you find yourself on the no-fly list. You're sitting in an airport, stranded. You think, 'My God, I went to law school, I work for [the Justice Department], in my heart I know I did nothing wrong.' What do you do?"

That's the million-dollar question that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski raised during oral arguments about the no-fly list on Friday, The Associated Press reports.

Legendary Judge James Browning Dead at 93

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Emeritus James Browning died on May 5 at a hospital in Marin County, Calif. He was 93.

Judge Browning, who served on the Ninth Circuit for 50 years, including 12 years as the Chief Judge, was the longest-serving appellate judge in the history of the federal judiciary.

Judge Browning is famous for protecting the massive Ninth Circuit, which includes nine states and two territories, from being split into two or three courts, the Los Angeles Times reports. As a result, the court continues to issue appellate decisions for one-fifth of the nation.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen Confirmed in 91-3 Vote

The Senate confirmed Judge Jacqueline Nguyen for a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last night by a vote of 91-3. She will be the first Vietnamese American and first Asian-Pacific woman to serve on a federal appeals court, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

President Obama nominated Judge Nguyen to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last September. Nguyen has served as a U.S. District Judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles since 2009. She was a Los Angeles Superior Court judge before migrating to the federal bench.

Ninth Circuit Says Congress, President Must Fix VA

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed itself Monday in a decision addressing the state of mental health care services in Veterans Affairs hospitals.

In a 10-1 decision written by Judge Jay Bybee, the court backtracked to say that the Congress and the president -- not the courts -- must cure the VA's previously-diagnosed "unchecked incompetence," The Washington Post reports.

Barry Bonds Appeal: Swinging for the Fences with Obstruction Theory?

Is obstruction of justice an “invented legal theory” that doesn’t rise to the level of criminal conduct?

That’s the argument on deck in the Barry Bonds appeal; whether or not it’s a home run is up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cop Blocked: SCOTUS Lets 9th Cir. Qualified Immunity Ruling Stand

Los Angeles inmate Dion Starr can proceed with his deliberate indifference claim against Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca. The Supreme Court declined to take up Sheriff Baca's qualified immunity case on Monday.

Starr claims that he was attacked by Latino gang members and a deputy during a 2006 attack at Los Angeles' Men's Central Jail, reports the Los Angeles Times.