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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 1995
After reading your editorial regarding a bill I'm co-sponsoring to split the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (June 23), I've come to one of two conclusions: Either your editorial writers don't care about the legal hardships caused Montanans and the Northwest by the 9th Circuit, or they can't see the forest for the trees. Twice in the past I have supported legislation to split the 9th Circuit, but it was not given fair consideration. In order to better the chances of the bill, I have invoked the Senate privilege of placing holds on all nominees to the court until the bill passes.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 31, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - California prevailed over Idaho on Monday in a long battle over the fate of a key judicial post, thanks largely to the Democrats' change last year to long-standing Senate filibuster rules. The Senate voted 56 to 43 to confirm John B. Owens for a seat on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, filling a seat that's been open since 2004 - the longest vacancy in the federal court system. Owens, who has practiced law for the Los Angeles firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson since 2012, was nominated by Obama in August.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage and Maura Dolan
WASHINGTON - The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is known for progressive rulings that champion individual rights over government and corporations, but when it comes to show business, the "Hollywood Circuit" - as it has been dubbed - stands accused of routinely siding with the home-turf entertainment industry. Judges famously sided with film studios in the early 1980s when the studios sued Sony for infringing their copyrights by selling the Betamax video recorders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
In a big win for a little fish, a federal appeals court Thursday upheld delta smelt protections that have cut deliveries of Northern California water to the Southland and the San Joaquin Valley. A panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 2-1 decision that a number of environmental provisions that federal and state water contractors have disputed as ill-founded were in fact justified. In effect, the court backed pumping limits. Written by Judge Jay S. Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, the opinion is a major blow to the agricultural and urban agencies that have spent years challenging endangered species protections that have curbed water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
NATIONAL
April 8, 2010 | By Clement Tan
Senate Democrats rejected on Tuesday a Republican demand that next week's scheduled confirmation hearing on Goodwin Liu's nomination to a federal appeals court be postponed, setting up an all-out partisan battle over the Berkeley law professor. Senate Republicans, who complain that Liu had originally failed to respond adequately to numerous questions on a Judiciary Committee questionnaire, pledged to continue pressing for a new hearing date. Liu, President Obama's choice for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, had been expected to testify March 24. But in the aftermath of the March 21 healthcare vote, Senate Republicans forced a postponement by invoking a little-used procedural rule disallowing any committee hearings more than two hours after the start of a Senate session.
OPINION
March 28, 2004
Re "No Pal of the Environment" (editorial, March 23), on William G. Myers III, nominee for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: Having worked with Myers for a number of years, please let me tell you why he should serve on the 9th Circuit. The 9th Circuit covers the West, and Myers would fill an Idaho seat recently vacated by an Idaho judge. Though no federal judge should represent anyone or anything but federal law, to the extent the 9th Circuit currently represents anything other than embarrassment -- declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, for instance, and summary reversals -- it represents President Clinton, who appointed 14 of its active 26 judges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
In the usually decorous environs of a full federal appeals court hearing, 11 black-robed judges Tuesday provoked surprised laughter as they debated whether an activist's Nazi salute to the mayor of Santa Cruz was an act of free speech or a disruption of public order. "It's OK to give the finger to a police officer," Judge Stephen Reinhardt noted helpfully, citing a previous ruling within the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge M. Margaret McKeown asked the Santa Cruz city attorney if boisterous positive expressions — mugging gleefully and pumping two thumbs up — at City Council meetings would also violate the rules of order.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
Court-ordered mediation has failed to settle a lawsuit over delayed and denied care for wounded veterans so the case now goes to a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, the court reported Tuesday. Two veterans groups brought suit in 2007, alleging systemic failures in the Department of Veterans Affairs' processing of disability claims. They noted that 3,000 veterans die each year while their appeals are pending, and 18 veterans commit suicide each day on average, many suspected to be acts of despair by those with untreated post-traumatic stress disorder.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
Melvin Brunetti, a federal appeals court judge for the last 24 years whose opinions included upholding anti-hate crime legislation, broader Pentagon scrutiny of homosexuals' security clearances and the death penalty for Robert Alton Harris, has died. He was 75. Brunetti died Friday at his home in Reno after a long battle with cancer, his family told the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, to which he had been appointed by President Reagan in 1985. He had been on senior status with the appeals court since 1999, a semi-retirement in which a judge is replaced on the active roster but continues to handle a reduced caseload.
NATIONAL
November 2, 2009 | David G. Savage
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering, for the third time, the case of a California murderer who was sentenced to die in 1982 for the brutal killing of a young woman. Twenty years ago, the California Supreme Court affirmed a death sentence for Fernando Belmontes, but since then his case has bounced back and forth in the federal courts. Three times in this decade, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned his death sentence as flawed. The case is the latest skirmish in the long-running war between California prosecutors and the 9th Circuit over the death penalty -- and it helps explains the oddity of capital punishment in California.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | By Michael McGough
Last year, after the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois' blanket ban on the carrying of “ready to use” guns outside the home, a Los Angeles Times editorial said this: “Even if it were affirmed by the Supreme Court, the 7th Circuit's decision probably wouldn't threaten most state laws that impose sensible restrictions on the carrying of firearms. (In California, applicants for a 'carry a concealed weapon' permit must prove that they are of 'good moral character,' have sufficient cause to carry a weapon and have received firearms training.)
NATIONAL
January 22, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - The U.S. government violated the law when it opened millions of acres of the Arctic Ocean to offshore oil drilling, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, possibly delaying plans by companies such as Royal Dutch Shell to drill off the northwest coast of Alaska in the near future. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the Interior Department did not properly evaluate the impact of oil development in the Chukchi Sea when it sold more than $2.6 billion in development leases in the environmentally sensitive area in 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage and Maura Dolan
WASHINGTON - The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is known for progressive rulings that champion individual rights over government and corporations, but when it comes to show business, the "Hollywood Circuit" - as it has been dubbed - stands accused of routinely siding with the home-turf entertainment industry. Judges famously sided with film studios in the early 1980s when the studios sued Sony for infringing their copyrights by selling the Betamax video recorders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- Supporters of a giant cross atop Mt. Soledad are holding out hope for an appeal to a federal judge's order Thursday that the display be removed within 90 days as a violation of the separation of church and state.  After two decades of legal and political wrangling, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on Thursday issued the order, although he also issued a stay so that those defending the cross have time to appeal. One of the strongest supporters of keeping the cross has been Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- After two decades of legal and political wrangling, a federal judge Thursday ordered the cross atop Mt. Soledad removed within 90 days as a violation of the separation of church and state. But U.S. District Judge Larry Burns stayed the removal order so that those defending the cross have time to appeal. Built in 1954, the 43-foot cross is one of the most visible landmarks in San Diego. Starting in the early 1990s, plaques honoring military veterans have been placed on walls surrounding the base of the cross.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO--A divided federal appeals court upheld a federal ban Monday on paid commercial, political and issue advertising on public broadcast radio and television stations. Rejecting a free-speech challenge to the ban, an 11-member en banc panel of the U.S. 9thCircuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress was entitled to establish regulations to ensure that public broadcasting would be educational and noncommercial. Monday's ruling overturned a smaller panel's decision last year that would have permitted paid political and issue advertising.
OPINION
April 22, 2010
Republicans have finally had their shot at Goodwin Liu, the UC Berkeley professor nominated to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Liu is still standing. In a mostly superficial and scripted hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Liu's critics raised only one substantial issue to buttress their case that he is outside the mainstream, and Liu refuted it. In what we hope wasn't a preview of hearings for President Obama's next Supreme Court nominee, the proceedings plumbed irrelevancies such as Liu's tardiness in submitting some articles and speeches, his dearth of trial experience and his past criticism of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Republicans recycled familiar rhetoric about "judicial activism" and the need for judges to "interpret the statutes and Constitution as written," as if the meaning of those documents was always self-evident.
NATIONAL
February 24, 2010 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama will nominate UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, The Times has learned. Liu carries credentials that some conservatives love to hate -- including a leadership position in a progressive legal group and a record of opposing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. But he has conservative admirers too. Liu has supported school choice as a solution to...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2013 | By Julie Cart
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government acted correctly when it ordered a Northern California oyster farm to close to clear the way for the first marine wilderness on the West Coast. The 2-1 decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals deals a blow to the years-long effort by a Marin County oyster farmer to extend his federal lease in Point Reyes National Seashore. Then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar refused to grant the extension in November, citing terms of an agreement the former owners of the farm signed 40 years ago as Congress moved toward creating the marine wilderness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO - In a reversal of past decisions, a federal appeals court decided Wednesday that California police officers may be protected by the 1st Amendment when they report corruption and misconduct within their departments. An 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived a lawsuit by Angelo Dahlia, a former Burbank police detective, who said he was punished for telling the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department about alleged brutality in the Burbank Police Department.
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