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

Recently in Civil Rights Law Category

A recent Ninth Circuit appellate opinion explains that the federal law prohibiting individuals from inducing or encouraging undocumented immigration when they know it will be unlawful is unconstitutional.

Simply put, the court explained that the statute criminalized "encouraging," which triggers First Amendment scrutiny and fails that scrutiny for being overly broad. And while amicus in the case, and other immigration advocates, believe the end result is just, the underlying case's facts might be difficult for those same individuals to stomach.

Court Gives Go-Ahead to Racial Bias Case Against Cable Giant

Byron Allen started his career as a comedian, but he wasn't afraid to talk about serious subjects.

In his first television appearance, he stood in front of an audience and joked about his parents beating him as a child. When he grew up to be a television producer, however, he got tired of getting knocked around.

In National Association of African American-Owned Media v. Charter Communications, Allen sued a cable giant for discriminating against African American media companies. Free speech advocates applauded.

There's a big problem in the chocolate industry that many of the big manufacturers don't want anybody to know about: A large chunk of the world's chocolate is farmed by child slaves (and child labor) in Africa's Ivory Coast.

Yes. Child slaves and child labor. It is heartbreaking to read or hear about. The problem goes deep and is both systemic and institutionalized.

And the Ninth Circuit just reversed a Central District of California dismissal in a case brought under the Alien Tort Statute by former child slaves against Nestle and other chocolate producers for aiding and abetting slavery.

Court: No Medical Exams on Children Without Parental Consent

A federal appeals court ruled that county doctors should not have examined children without parental consent.

In Mann v. County of San Diego, the parents sued after the County of San Diego took their kids and medically examined them. The parents soon won a decision against the county for not having sufficient evidence to take custody from them.

And then the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, saying the county violated the parents' and the kids' rights by doing gynecological and rectal exams on the children.

Transgender Military Battle Continues as 9th Cir. Hears Arguments

The legal battle over transgenders in the military is in the hands of a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered oral arguments in Karnoski v. Trump, which stems from President Trump's ban on transgenders serving in the armed forces. A trial judge blocked the president's plan, and the administration appealed.

The Ninth Circuit, which is expected to issue a decision in the next two months, is the first appeals court to hear arguments over the ban. No matter how the court rules, however, the war is far from over.

Court Says Anti-Terrorist Ads Can Go on Public Buses

A federal appeals court said an anti-Muslim group has a constitutional right to identify terrorists in advertisements on public buses.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said King County, which had banned the ads, violated the First Amendment. The group wanted to place an ad with the names and faces of 16 alleged terrorists.

In American Freedom Defensive Initiative v. King County, the appeals court gave the plaintiffs a win in a First Amendment war. They needed it because they lost the last battle on the constitutional front.

9th Circuit Upholds Arizona Voting Laws

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Arizona laws against out-of-precinct voting and submitting ballots on behalf of others.

It was a setback for the Democratic National Committee, which argued the laws unfairly impacted minority voters. A divided appeals panel, however, said the laws imposed "only a minimal burden on voters."

It was much worse than that, said the dissent in The Democratic National Committee v. Reagan. The lone appellate judge said the only purpose of the laws was to discriminate against minorities.

When it comes to the hot-button topic of political fundraising, everyday individuals tend to be in agreement that there should be no secrets when it comes to the money politicians and political groups receive.

However, popular opinion does not create law and Citizens United happened. But in California, the Ninth Circuit just reversed a district court injunction and gave the state's Attorney General the power to see who the anonymous donors are behind the Koch brother-founded conservative advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (which reportedly just founded the Super PAC American for Prosperity Action).

In a pair of recent panel decisions before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, major California gun-control legislation was upheld over challenges from special interest, gun advocacy groups.

One panel, as explained by Reuters, upheld a recent amendment to California's Gun-Free School Zone Act, prohibiting individuals with a concealed carry permit to have a gun on school grounds unless they are an active, off-duty, or retired peace officer (Case: Gallinger v. Becerra). The other panel upheld a short list of physical requirements gun manufacturers must meet in order to sell a new firearm in the state.

Court Greenlights Case Against San Jose Police for Riot Injuries

If you know the way to San Jose, maybe you also know the song that sold millions in the 1960s.

Dionne Warwick made "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" famous on her way to her first Grammy and third Top Ten. She sang about how how great the city was -- but what a difference a generation makes.

If you go to San Jose today, you might run into police steering you into danger. That's what the plaintiffs say in Hernandez v. City of San Jose, a civil rights case that just got a green light from a federal appeals court.