Patterico's Pontifications

1/30/2011

Supreme Court Scolds 9th Circuit

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,Judiciary,Law — Jack Dunphy @ 8:27 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The Washington Post reports today on a series of recent Supreme Court opinions which overturned decisions by the 9th Circuit. Post writer Robert Barnes informs us:

Sometimes the Supreme Court simply decides cases and sometimes it seems to have something bigger in mind. In the past two weeks, it has been in scold mode, and its target has been the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Barnes goes on to offer a characterization of Judge Stephen Reinhardt that will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog. Reinhardt, he writes, is “widely considered to be the nation’s most liberal appeals court judge.”

Indeed. Read the whole thing.

–Jack Dunphy

23 Responses to “Supreme Court Scolds 9th Circuit”

  1. Yes, but Barnes also refers to the “increasingly conservative Supreme Court.”

    One wonders whether it was the appointment of Sotomayor or Kagan that made it increasingly more conservative in his mind.

    beer 'n pretzels (3d1d61)

  2. I’ve read these cases as they came down, and SCOTUS has been scathing. Not just the usual Scalia-mocking-everyone scathing, but per curiam viciousness.

    They’re obviously mad at the Ninth, and it’s not on liberal/conservative lines; they’re all saying the Ninth isn’t honoring clear precedent. Good for them.

    –JRM

    JRM (cd0a37)

  3. Would you say that SCOTUS is telling the 9th to just quit pulling it out of your ass?

    AD-RtR/OS! (7f028f)

  4. not that doing so will have any positive result….

    they believe and that’s all that matters.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  5. Which means Reinhardt is not a judge but a political hack.

    Scrapiron (7a38de)

  6. The 9th Circuit is overruled by SCOTUS more often than any other, and that’s been the rule for a long time. The 9th Circuit decides more cases than any other, but that’s not the reason why. I saw some statistics, and they are overruled disproportionately more often than any other.

    There was a case I remember from something like 20 years ago. There was an execution scheduled one night, and a couple of hours before it was supposed to take place, the 9th Circuit issued a stay. California asked SCOTUS to override, and SCOTUS did.

    At which point the 9th Circuit issued another stay. SCOTUS overrode that one, too.

    The 9th Circuit, not getting the message, issued a **third** stay. SCOTUS overrode it, as well, and issued an order that there should be no more stays.

    Then the execution took place as scheduled.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  7. The SCOTUS should be conservative in its complete makeup. It should be conservative to the point where it adheres to the words and intent of the writers and signers of the Constitution of theses United States, otherwise it should be abolished. If the people don’t like what’s in the Constitution, then change the law through the legislative process…NOT via judicial fiat!

    DBinNJ (4fd4ab)

  8. jack

    interesting stuff. thanks for bringing it up.

    This old post particularly seems to bear on the issue of the 9th circuit and how it goes off the reservation all the time:

    http://patterico.com/2010/11/04/althouse-confused-by-coming-ninth-circuit-smackdown/

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  9. Reinhardt has been bad news since the day he got on the 9th Circuit. Every now and then you get a rogue judge/ideologue who is going to decide things his way come hell or high water. And Reinhardt is that rogue. Unfortunately, he’s also a persuasive rogue who pulls other 9th Circuit justices along with him on three judge panels. And that means it’s a crap shoot–if he’s on the panel, and your case or issues are of the conservative persuasion, you’re diddled. All you can hope for is that the SCOTUS will slap him down again.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  10. Indeed, read the whole thing and get to the part where the 9th circuit’s decision’s are affirmed at a higher rate than other circuits.

    Jack might have not made until the end when this salient part comes into the article. Ah, the Washington Post thinks there’s a new sheriff in town and they’re trying to appeal to their new insect overloads

    timb (449046)

  11. Indeed, read the whole thing and get to the part where the 9th circuit’s decision’s are affirmed at a higher rate than other circuits.

    That’s not exactly what they said. Last year, the 6th was overturned more, and the Wapo claims the 9th was better than average. They didn’t provide the data, but it’s clear the 9th wasn’t the best, and tends to be the worst.

    timb suggests the ‘salient’ part of this article is something timb can’t even explain correctly.
    The 9th circuit decides 6000 cases per year, and at least a tenth of those cases will have at least 2 extremists on the panel who ignore the law. This creates a tremendous number of appeals. The Supreme Court doesn’t hear that many cases.

    Thus, the 9th will go on and on, year after year, as the worst circuit, having the most overturned cases.

    And the zaniest (or the most gullible) will occasionally note that the 9th has a large number of appeal cases that are not overturned. However, when looking for unjust appeals, the 9th is the worst offender every single year, and the fact that our Supreme Court isn’t keeping up with the sheer volume of the 9th’s screwups is not evidence in their favor.

    No, timb, that point wasn’t the salient part of the article. It was cover for fools.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  12. Think of it this way, timb. You have a McDonalds that is routinely failing health inspections, and leading to the highest number of food poisonings in your town for the past 6 years in a row. You also have a small French restaurant that had one food poisoning incident. The McDonalds manager defends himself noting that only 5% of the thousands he fed got sick.

    but then you learn that most people who get food poisoning aren’t able to see a doctor because they have overloaded the medical establishment in town.

    Which restaurant would you shut down?

    It’s time to break up the 9th circuit. When this many cases are overturned, year after year, that is open contempt, and injustice. Let’s get as many Americans out of this circuit as possible.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. When you can’t get even Ginsburg to do more than a polite concurrence; when you can’t get a dissent from even Kagan or Sotomayor,

    then you’re no longer in the legitimate jurisprudential river, Reinhardt. You’ve climbed up the left bank, dried off and started raising bull****.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  14. Reinhardt’s contempt for the Supreme Court really should become the subject of an impeachment hearing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  15. I concur with SPQR, it’s past time to engage in some maintainence impeachment.

    LarryD (f22286)

  16. Unfortunately not until 2013. I wonder why they didn’t do this during 1995-2006; was there insufficient evidence at that time?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  17. Milhouse, impeachment of judges is pretty rare, and I’ve not seen it done for this kind of misconduct. I’m not even saying that he should be impeached, but I do think that hearings on this should be conducted by the House.

    I’m not saying that Reinhardt should be impeached for wrong decisions. Rather I find that his view that it does not matter if he’s overturned, since the Supreme Court can’t review every one of his appellate decisions, shows a contempt for the Federal court system itself.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  18. Exactly. Anyone can get a decision wrong; even Thomas does once in a while (IMNSHO). But Reinhardt keeps telling the Supreme Court to go fly a kite.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  19. “timmah! The SCOTUS doesn’t really — timmah! — scold the Ninth Circus Clown Court of the Squeals. timmah! . . . except for — timmah! — when they do. So, uh . . .

    timmah!”

    Icy Texan (4763e3)

  20. Judge Vinson – ObamaCare DEAD

    daleyrocks (479a30)

  21. The 9th Circuit is overruled by SCOTUS more often than any other, and that’s been the rule for a long time. The 9th Circuit decides more cases than any other, but that’s not the reason why. I saw some statistics, and they are overruled disproportionately more often than any other.

    There was a case I remember from something like 20 years ago. There was an execution scheduled one night, and a couple of hours before it was supposed to take place, the 9th Circuit issued a stay. California asked SCOTUS to override, and SCOTUS did.

    At which point the 9th Circuit issued another stay. SCOTUS overrode that one, too.

    The 9th Circuit, not getting the message, issued a **third** stay. SCOTUS overrode it, as well, and issued an order that there should be no more stays.

    Then the execution took place as scheduled.

    Whose execution was that?

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  22. Hmmm, that was quite a few years ago, Michael. I’ll have to see if I can recall which it was.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. Probably were thinking of Robert Alton Harris back in the early ’90′s. The real problem there was with both individual district court judges and the Ninth Circuit itself. But the contempt for the Supreme Court manifested itself in that series. I don’t recall whether or not Reinhardt was involved in those stays, I’ve not researched the actual opinions lately.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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