March 21, 2011

"There was simply no basis for the Ninth Circuit to reach the opposite conclusion, particularly in such a dismissive manner."

The Supreme Court, per curiam, grants a petition for certiorari and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and delivers an immediate reversal, after the 9th Circuit blatantly disregards the standard imposed by the federal habeas statute.

34 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

I liked the line: "That decision is as inexplicable as it is unexplained. It is reversed."

Gordon Freece said...

Can you render that into English for the rest of us?

Ann Althouse said...

@Paul They did grant cert. They granted cert and without going through all the trouble of briefing and argument, they reversed.

LarsPorsena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol_Herman said...

Isn't the 9th the circus court? Providing no limits on what gets reversed?

Oy vey, if Obama wins a second term. And, picks more clowns for the Supreme's.

Carol_Herman said...

Ah. They "reversed" the argument. Without even looking at the paperwork? Sounds like a good thing.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Sorry. My question was supposed to go with the post on the New Jersey case.

Ann Althouse said...

Note that the earlier post, referring to Rule 10, was about a different case. Both opinions came out today.

mm said...

I second Gordon. There is no reason in the world why laws and laws about laws can't be stated in plain English. Unless, of course, a barrier to understanding laws is useful to lawyers. No offense, just sayin'

Julius said...

Wow, that's a big smackdown. Why would the 9th Circuit make such an egregious mistake?

Here's the 9th Circuit opinion btw... perhaps it was just the luck of the draw for the panel? The God of Racial Politics favored Mr. Jacksons and gave him Schroeder, Rawlinson, and Collins.

I don't think Kozinski would've gone along with this... nor most of the others.

Procedural question for Professor: Couldn't the state ask for an en banc decision before appealing to the SCOTUS? Or was one asked for and denied?

vbspurs said...

The Supreme Court, per curiam, grants a petition for certiorari and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and delivers an immediate reversal, after the 9th Circuit blatantly disregards the standard imposed by the federal habeas statute.

And then John Roberts called Sonia Sotomayor "that bitch".

ricpic said...

"...to proceed in forma pauperis..."

To proceed in poor form?

chuckR said...

Blog needs bumper music.

For this entry, cue up the calliope.

Jason said...

Better put some ice on that.

WV: "untax." HAHAHAHAHA!!!

AZDCbadger said...

Julius: The SG would never agree to en banc for an unpublished opinion because it is not precedential.

It is interesting that (with respect to the Ninth Circuit and habeas cases), SCOTUS is becoming an error correcting court.

AZDCbadger said...

I'm sorry. It was a state case. Solicitor General approval is not required.

David said...

Here is a plain English translation translation of the Supreme Court opinion.

'Ninth Circuit, you are a lawless mess. Your opinion is so far outside the law we hardly have to think about it. That includes all of us, conservatives and liberals. If we could do more than just publicly shame you we would. Stop doing this. It's embarrassing."

Is that clear enough?

Dan from Madison said...

Does this mean that all of the Supreme Court justices agreed on this or a simple majority?

mm said...

Didn't say I didn't understand it, David. Just meant it sucks when Ubermensch insist on their own 'language'.

Joe Six-Pack ought to have at least as good a chance of understanding legalities that govern him as he does understanding the user manuals for computers and a/v equipment.

Simon said...

mm said...
"I second Gordon. There is no reason in the world why laws and laws about laws can't be stated in plain English. Unless, of course, a barrier to understanding laws is useful to lawyers. No offense, just sayin'"

As a general principle that's true. But it's misapplied here. The post was in perfectly clear English (as was the opinion), accepting the inevitable technical vocabulary of a profession. To unpack the vocabulary would rob the post of concision, transforming it into something like this:

"The Supreme Court, in an unsigned opinion, allows an appeal (and waives the normal fees), deciding to immediately reverse the 9th Circuit, without briefing or argument, for ignoring federal law on when prisoners can attack their state-imposed sentence in federal court."

The purpose of plain English is to strip out unnecessary jargon and promote concision. Here, the technical vocabulary is necessary and the effort to avoid it ballons the word count, makes an ugly, multi-clause sentence that is less precise and informative than the original.

Simon said...

Dan, in the absence of noted dissent, we can infer unanimity.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Supreme Court's decision, rendered into English:

What you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

PaulV said...

As a general rule most appellate court cases concerned items on the edge, poorly written contracts, marginal police procedures and prosectors mistakes. So interpertations of weak writings and actions are used to train lawyers how to think.

Julius said...

The Supreme Court does prefix its actual case decisions with a Syllabus. That's supposed to be a more plain-English rendering of the law, isn't it?

Besides, this wasn't incomprehensible. I have no legal training and was able to understand everything about it, except for the procedural question I asked above... and except for who exactly "T. Felkner" is, although I assume he is the prosecutor or someone similar.

Dopey said...

Was this unanimous?

AJ Lynch said...

Huh? Say again in English please.


wv = hypout [extreme PR]

The Grand Inquisitor said...

Why are people complaining about the language?

It's not difficult to read and it's not even lengthy. The state courts and district court saw things one way, the circuit reversed them with a very weak explanation, and the Supreme Court called foul.

Apparently if you exclude a mere majority fraction of black jurors, some 9th circuit judges will ignore your explanation. That itself is quite racist.

My view is that this had nothing to do with Batson. Some 9th Circuit judges directly go for a result, and search for an explanation later. It's especially suspicious when their explanation is very dismissive and vague.

We absolutely must break this circuit into three circuits.

gloogle said...

@ChuckR: "For this entry, cue up the calliope." I spewed my coffee, dammit.

Good god, these people are federal judges appointed for life?? Maybe a Republican Senate can impeach them for abject stupidity??

wv: relith - ith what you pud onna hot dog...

Quayle said...

"...to proceed in forma pauperis..."

To proceed as a certified poor person that, therefore, is excused from being required to pay all the filing fees and court cost.

Simon said...

The Grand Inquisitor said...
"We absolutely must break this circuit into three circuits."

By itself, that won't fix the immediate problem, although it might contain it. The problem is the judges, so the solution would be to abolish the circuit including its judgeships. Then erect one, two, three, four, however many circuits the workload demands as a replacement. Probably better to wait until a more sensible President is in place, otherwise you just reproduce the problem.

The other reason to divide the circuit is workload, but the problem is that any circuit containing California is going to have one of the heaviest caseloads in the nation. Of 12,223 cases in 2008-9, 4,713 came from California; when you consider that 3,280 cases were immigration appeals, you realize that every other district in the circuit combined accounts for only a third of the court's work. See CA9 Annual Report 40, 42 (2009). I assume that for political reasons, just flat-out abolishing the Ninth Circuit and its juggeships isn't an option, and on that stipulation, it seems to me that the solution here is twofold. (1) Split the Ninth Circuit in two, with Arizona and California as a new 12th Circuit, and (2) either create a new federal appellate court to handle immigration appeals or fold that jurisdiction into the federal circuit. This will ease the load on several circuits, including both the Ninth circuit and this one.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Yay, Ninth Circuit!

They never let me down!

wv: phines-- the result of traphic tickets

paul a'barge said...

what?

traditionalguy said...

The Ninth Circuit guys held up a Black Solidarity Fist in open rebellion against established Federal case law and statutes that allowed an application of a color blind analysis to a case involving a black party's automatic appellate claim that Jury strikes of blacks by the prosecution is discrimination. Now if the Ninth Circuit doesn't occupy the Supreme Court Building and stop all of its deliberations, the adults will be back in charge.