The Supreme Court of the United States has unanimously reversed six of the last seven cases from the San-Francisco-based 9th Circuit. Debra Saunders points out how common and "yawn-inducing" this trend has become.
The latest reversal happened yesterday, in a case where the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of a sex offender who attacked a 72-year-old woman. Snubbing the opinions of three lower courts, it decided the prosecutor at trial had committed "purposeful discrimination" in picking only one of three black jurors.
In its reversal, the Supreme Court opinion concluded:
… the [Ninth Circuit court] did not discuss any specific facts or mention the reasoning of the other three courts that had rejected Jackson’s claim … There was simply no basis for the Ninth Circuit to reach the opposite conclusion, particularly in such a dismissive manner.
This Post article from January, after the fifth reversal, says the Supreme Court is in "scold mode" against the 9th Circuit. But Justice Kennedy, the only 9th Circuit veteran, says this:
"Confidence in the writ [of habeas corpus] and the law it vindicates [is] undermined if there is a judicial disregard for the sound and established principles that inform its proper issuance," Kennedy wrote in one of the cases, Harrington v. Richter. "That judicial disregard is inherent in the opinion of the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit."
The 9th Circuit is the nation's largest court, with jurisdiction over nearly 20% of our citizens. It boasts Stephen Reinhardt, considered the most liberal appeals judge, famous for his belief that "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, and his more recent refusal to recuse himself from the circuit panel considering same-sex marriage despite his wife's activism for gay marriage.
Oh, San Francisco. Always having to be different.