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 |
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 |
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.
November 2, 2009 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2009 |
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.
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.