Tag: Ninth Circuit

The 9th Circuit Sides with Constitution and Trump


We are used to leftist opinions from the often derisively labeled Ninth Circus Court of Appeals. However, President Trump with the support of Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has seized the opportunity to firm up the Supreme Court, making wacky rulings from lower courts more difficult within the rules of the judicial game. He has steadily placed relatively reliable constitutionalist judges in lower courts, including the Ninth Circuit. This is starting to pay off in better decisions, like the latest on Title X funds and abortion. The latest Ninth Circuit decision also reflects the willingness of President Trump to actually uphold the laws passed by Congress, a refreshing change from both parties’ norms. 

Statement from the Press Secretary
LAW & JUSTICE | Issued on: February 25, 2020

President Trump’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable is unwavering, and we applaud yesterday’s Ninth Circuit decision upholding our Title X regulation. This regulation protects the unborn by ensuring Title X grants are allocated as Congress intended – and not as abortion providers or abortion advocacy organizations would prefer. By law, Title X prohibits grant funds from going to programs where abortion is considered a method of family planning. This ruling upholds the Title X regulation that will ensure compliance with that law. The President and his Administration remain committed to advancing pro-life policies.

Member Post


On March 15, five Judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal delivered what Professor Jonathon Turley termed a “vociferous dissent” which has received, as he noted, “a surprising lack of media attention…”. Upon discovering Prof. Turley’s article, and a couple of others in the same vein, I conducted my own search and while not claiming […]

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics


Like many of you, I was appalled at the shoddy reasoning exhibited in the recent 9th Circuit Court opinion governing President Trump’s executive order. Subsequent reading has only further muddied the waters for me, but today’s post by the great Richard Epstein has calmed me down a bit.

Regardless of the merits of this particular case, one thing that all conservatives can agree on is that the 9th Circuit is a disgrace. Overwhelmingly liberal and a fine example of a corrupt judiciary run amok. I mean the 9th circuit has been overturned 80% of the time in recent years! This is fact. I know, I heard it from Hannity.

It turns out that this statistic is misleading. Perusing SCOTUSblog’s Stat Archive one finds that the picture is not quite as obvious as the one painted by the Right Wing of our media. For the years 2010–2015 it is true that the 9th circuit has been overturned about 79% of the time, but this does not make it “the most overturned court in the country” nor does it appear to be wildly outside the norm. Here is how the statistics break down:

A Further Qualified Defense of the Ninth Circuit Attack on Trump’s Executive Immigration Order


My recent post on Ricochet took the position that the Ninth Circuit was correct when it set aside Trump’s controversial executive orders on legal permanent aliens and refugees and asked the Trump administration to reexamine the result. Most people in dealing with this order claim that it went too far because it did not accept the President’s position that the order was wholly unreviewable, regardless of its content, which was viewed as self-evidently correct by some and wholly outside the bounds of decency by others. Indeed, many of the comments on Ricochet took the former position by arguing that Presidents should follow the lead of Andrew Jackson and tell the Court to enforce its own order. But it is, as other readers noted, a wild overreaction to a particular dispute to throw out a set of institutional arrangements that have by and large served the United States well for over 200 years.

I put these grander objections aside, therefore, to look at two more fine-grained challenges. I start by noting that in making this decision, the Ninth Circuit was right to avoid grappling on a thin record with claims that both the Establishment and Free Exercise Clause applied to the particular case. That analysis would have been a major transformation of American law that could quite literally upset established practices on allocating scarce immigration slots on the basis of national origin. It also allowed the Court to side step the very tricky question of the extent to which alien claims generated some positive right to become an immigrant. I regard these claims when stated in their general form to be wholly unsupportable. In general, the power of every nation to protect its own borders means that no outsider has a categorical right to enter this country but must allowed to apply before entry.

With all that said, the actual issues presented in this case were of narrower bore, dealing with standing on the one hand, and the relationship of this order to the President’s statutory authority to make unreviewable executive orders on the other. Both these points require further attention. Both of these issues are addressed in a serious and professional manner by David Rivkin and Lee Casey in the Wall Street Journal, and by Michael McConnell on Defining Ideas. I cannot address all of their points here. But I do hope to explain why the contrary view that I expressed survives their criticism.

Do Guns and Medical Marijuana Mix? A Ninth Circuit Decision Says No.


gunweedWednesday, in Wilson v. Lynch, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down a decision holding that the federal government was within its rights when it decreed, via an open letter to all gun dealers, that any person who held a state license to use marijuana for medical purposes was banned from purchasing a weapon. The ruling applied even though it was in a collision course with the Second Amendment guarantee of the right “to keep and bear arms.”

To people not versed in the law, the decision reads like a bundle of technicalities. Come to think of it, for those who are versed in the law, the same conclusion holds.

The alleged conflict arises because of an uneasy truce between Nevada and federal law. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug, which means that it is deemed “no currently accepted medical use in treatment” and further that “[t]here is a lack of accepted safety for use of the . . . substance under medical supervision.” At the same time many states, including Nevada, have passed laws that allow for the use of medical marijuana by people whose dire health conditions warrant its use.

9th Circuit: Concealed Carry Not Part of 2nd Amendment


shutterstock_294491978The court ruled, 7-4, that the Heller and McDonald decisions do not gartuntee a constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon outside one’s home:

Appellants, who live in San Diego and Yolo Counties, sought to carry concealed firearms in public for self-defense, but alleged they were denied licenses to do so because they did not satisfy the good cause requirements in their counties. […] The en banc court held that the history relevant to both the Second Amendment and its incorporation by the Fourteenth Amendment lead to the same conclusion: The right of a member of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment. Therefore, because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public, any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry — including a requirement of “good cause,” however defined — is necessarily allowed by the Amendment. The en banc court stated that there may or may not be a Second Amendment right for a member of the general public to carry a firearm openly in public, but the Supreme Court has not answered that question.

Regarding that last line, California law, prohibits carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person or in one’s vehicle “while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.”