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Suit Against Drivers' Union Hits 9th Circuit Roadblock

Seattle was ahead of its time when it gave for-hire drivers the chance to unionize in 2016.

Unfortunately for Uber drivers and others, their lawsuit challenging the city ordinance was also premature. In Clark v. City of Seattle, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said their claims are not ripe.

The for-hire drivers said the ordinance violated the National Labor Relations Act and their First Amendment rights. Not now they don't, according to the appeals court.

Ninth Circuit Smokes EPA for Harmful Pesticide

A federal appeals court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a pesticide once used as a nerve gas that can cause brain disorders.

According to studies presented to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, low doses of chlorpyrifos can cause children to suffer attention deficit disorders, delayed motor development, and lower IQs. A divided panel of the court blasted the government for dragging its feet in protecting consumers.

"The time has come to put a stop to this patent evasion," Judge Jed Rakoff wrote for the majority in League of United American Citizens v. Wheeler.

$232 Million Cryptocurrency 'Crowdsale' Case Proceeds Against Founders

Arthur and Kathleen Brietman say they raised funds for their cryptocurrency startup, but they had no obligation to give contributors any tokens back.

Of course, that was a surprise to the people who sued in four class actions. They say the Brietmans defrauded them and violated securities laws in a $232 million "crowdsale."

A judge says the plaintiffs have a case, and his say-so matters most. The plaintiffs may not get any tokens, but their case raises new questions about whether digital currencies are subject to securities laws.

Ryan Bounds wasn't the first, and won't be the last, of President Trump's controversial picks for the federal courts, especially given his hopes of reshaping the Ninth Circuit. Bounds was nominated to fill a vacancy on the Ninth, however, as his confirmation vote was set to hit the Senate floor, it was announced that the nomination was withdrawn.

Apparently, Republican Senator Tim Scott, who happens to be the only African American Republican in the Senate (and one of only three total), took issue with nominee Bounds's history of racially and ethnically charged (and insensitive) writings. Even Bounds seemed embarrassed by it. Though Scott seemed to exercise extreme decorum in his public statement, commentators didn't need to hear much more to understand that Bounds's nomination was too controversial.

Court Upholds Injunction Against California's Gun Magazine Ban

Californians have walked down gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, but the courts are drawing a line.

In the latest round, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an order blocking a voter-approved ban on the high-capacity magazines. It puts part of Proposition 63 on hold pending a trial in Duncan v. Becerra.

For gun owners, it was bad enough when California outlawed the sale of the devices in 2000. But Prop. 63 would have made people who already bought the magazines surrender them or go to jail.

ACLU Lawsuit: Get an F, Go to Jail

We've all heard of kids getting grounded for bad grades, but sending them to jail sounds ridiculous.

In a federal lawsuit, however, the American Civil Liberities Union says Riverside County is criminalizing bad grades. According to reports, the local school districts are "funneling students into the criminal justice system."

The ACLU wants to dismantle the Youth Accountability Team, which is run by the county probation department. It puts "at risk" youth on six-month's informal probation to divert them from criminal activity.

Senate Confirms Hawaii Attorney to Ninth Circuit

Even though he's never been a judge, Mark Bennett will be one of the most experienced among his peers when he takes his seat on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

That's because Bennett will join the panel at the seasoned age of 65. He is the oldest Trump appointee, and older than 80 percent of Obama's appellate choices.

The Senate confirmed Bennett to take the place of Judge Richard Clifton, who was almost the same age as Bennett when he assumed senior status. So it was a seamless transition in more ways than one.

BBC Asks California Federal Court for Dr. Who Leakers

Who leaked footage of the upcoming season of Doctor Who, the famous science fiction television series?

That's what the producers want to know, and they have filed suit to find out. The leak is significant, the trades say, because it is the first season to star a female Doctor.

If you don't know who is Doctor Who, that's probably because it's a British production. In any case, it will soon be airing in an American court near you.

DOE Must Stop Collecting Loans From Corinthian Students

The U.S. Education Department cannot collect students loans from thousands of former students of the defunct Corinthian Colleges, a federal judge said.

Judge Sallie Kim clarified an earlier ruling because the education department had resumed collections based on "partial forgiveness." The department acted recently after denying 8,600 student claims.

The students' plight began years ago when Corinthian Colleges defrauded them about job opportunities while raking in loans they could not repay. The latest ruling gives them some relief, but their nightmare is not over.

Separating Families at the Border Violates Due Process, Judge Rules

It is "brutal," "offensive," and offends "fair play and decency" to take children from their mothers seeking asylum, a federal judge said.

And if that's not enough, it violates the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Dana Sabraw minced no words in refusing the government's motion to dismiss a complaint by two immigrant mothers.

In Ms. L. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the mothers said they were forcibly separated from their minor children for months. Now that the court has ruled, the government will have to answer for much longer.