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

9th Circuit November 2012 News

What's Up With the Ninth Circuit's Giant Case Font?

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals likes to set trends. We can appreciate that. But sometimes, trend-setting form interferes with function.

If you check the Ninth Circuit's website for newly released cases -- which we do, everyday -- you've probably noticed a change in the way that cases are displayed: The font is freakin' huge.

Secret Home Surveillance Video Doesn't Violate Fourth Amendment

A Ninth Circuit panel ruled on Tuesday that it's no big deal for an undercover agent to walk into a suspect's home with a hidden camera to record an illegal transaction, as long as the agent was invited.

The appellate court based its decision on the Supreme Court's 1966 Hoffa v. U.S. opinion, holding that the Fourth Amendment's protection does not extend to information that a person voluntarily exposes to a government agent, including an undercover agent.

Judicial Council Defies DOMA, Orders Insurance Reimbursement

This week, the Supreme Court will consider whether it will hear a slew of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) challenges, along with a constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. We’re guessing that the Court will grant at least one of the cases.

But before the Court can have its say on deciding DOMA’s fate, the Ninth Circuit has once again stepped into the DOMA spotlight. Last week, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council ordered a federal court in San Francisco to pay an employee’s costs for insurance coverage for his husband, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Probation Revocation Should Not Be Calculated in Sentence Imposed

A new amendment to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines could mean less jail time for your client.

Vacating a sentence for illegal reentry and remanding, a Ninth Circuit panel held on Monday that a November 1, 2012, amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines clarified, rather than altered, existing law in providing that a probation revocation sentence served after deportation should not be used to calculate a "sentence imposed."

Ninth Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing in Pink Underwear Lawsuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a petition for rehearing this week in a lawsuit challenging Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s pink underwear policy.

Barring Supreme Court intervention, that means the Ninth Circuit’s panel decision ordering a new trial in the case stands.

Courts May Order Sexual Offender Assessment as Release Condition

According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a district court can require a sexual offender assessment -- not treatment, just an assessment -- as a condition of supervised release when the defendant had a history of sexual violence involving weapons and his current offense involves a weapon.

The appellate court reasoned that this type of assessment was "no greater deprivation of liberty than was reasonably necessary" to punish, deter, protect the public from or rehabilitate the defendant.

Ninth Circuit: Statutory Rape is a 'Crime of Violence'

Mens rea doesn’t necessarily factor into a court’s “crime of violence” analysis when applying a Sentencing Guidelines enhancement.

In 2003, Raul Zamorano-Ponce pleaded guilty in state court to “rape of a child in the third degree,” a Washington statutory rape violation. The state court sentenced him to a 12-month term of imprisonment. After serving just over half of the sentence, he was released from prison and removed from the U.S.

In 2011, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended Zamorano-Ponce a few miles from the United States-Mexico border, near Lukeville, Arizona. He admitted to being a Mexican citizen without documentation to establish legal presence in the United States.

Ninth Circuit Panel Skeptical of Arizona Abortion Arguments

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed H.B. 2036 into law in April 2012. The bill restricts and criminalizes an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later, except in a "medical emergency." In August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined enforcement of the bill.

The law's supporters claim that H.B. 2036 protects maternal health, because abortions at 20 weeks or beyond are more dangerous than procedures performed earlier in pregnancy. Opponents say that medical emergency exception to the law is too narrow, and could jeopardize a woman's life or seriously harm her health.

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing in Medical Marijuana ADA Challenge

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to rehear arguments regarding whether the Americans with Disabilities Act protects medical marijuana use, the Phoenix New Times reports.

In May, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel found that the ADA does not cover medical marijuana use since marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law. This week, a 2-1 panel voted to deny rehearing.