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En Banc Shots: 5 Cases Set for Arguments, Streaming This Week

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 09, 2013 3:05 PM

Fiending for a live stream of oral arguments in landmark cases? As we reported last week, the Ninth Circuit is going to lead the way in transparency by becoming the first Circuit Court of Appeals to stream its en banc proceedings live, online, at the court's website.

What cases are set for arguments? DNA collection, criminal matters, immigration, and a police shooting are all on the docket.

Haskell v. Harris - 12/09/2013 - 2pm

Streaming right now, the court is hearing oral arguments in a case that is getting its third look, which challenges California's DNA swabbing procedures.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court upheld a similar Maryland law for purposes of identification, likening the procedure to mug shots, but California's law differs in two very important ways: more criminals are swabbed (Maryland limits it to violent crimes) and unlike Maryland, where DNA profiles are destroyed if the person is not convicted, in California, one must file paperwork to be removed from the databank.

Update: technical difficulties made much of this argument inaccessible. Video archives, as always, are available on the court's website.

United States v. Hernandez-Estrada - 12/10/2013 - 10am

Hernandez-Estrada was convicted of reentering the country illegally. He challenges the Southern District's jury selection procedures, arguing that the jury used (which is based on voter registration) is not a fair cross-selection of the community, amongst other arguments.

Notably, Chief Justice Kozinski, along with Judge Watford, "concurred without enthusiasm" because the panel was bound to apply a rule allowing up to a 7.7 percent deviation in the cross-section versus the community.

United States v. Preston - 12/10/2013 - 2pm

How much protection do we give the mentally disabled during interrogations?

When Preston, who has an IQ of 65 and a "brain 'like a 5-year-old,'" was accused of sexually assaulting a child, he was peppered with leading questions. Nearly every detail of his confession matched information provided by investigators. When provided with two options, both incriminating, he merely chose the lesser of two evils.

The dissent smelt coercion. The majority declined to find a constitutional violation.

The case also presents a second issue: the panel majority ordered the district court to reexamine its order requiring Preston to undergo controversial penile plethysmograph testing, which measures sexual arousal. The dissent would outright ban the scientifically-questionable test.

Ceron v. Holder - 12/11/2013 - 10am

Ceron was previously convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. This case presents a simple question: does that offense, which is a "wobbler" in California (can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor), count as a crime involving moral turpitude ("CIMT") for immigration purposes?

The panel said yes, relying on precedent from 1953. The dissent argued that a more recent en banc case controlled, and held that the offense was not a CIMT. The majority dismissed that opinion's text as discussion not related to the issue presented for review (i.e., dicta).

Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim - 12/11/2013 - 2pm

We've covered this case pretty heavily, so we won't rehash it too much here, but the dissent cites 0-60mph times of a minivan to tear apart the police officers' statements and argue against qualified immunity in an excessive force police shooting case.

Will you be watching? Tell us who the judge is with the amazing accent on LinkedIn.

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