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Religion Clause: The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in ProtectMarriage.com v. Padilla, (Docket No. 14-434, cert. denied 3/2/2015) (Order List). In the case, the 9th Circuit in a 2-1 decision (full text) rejected a challenge by backers of California’s Proposition 8 to the state’s campaign contribution disclosure requirements. Challengers had argued that contributors to the campaign against same-sex marriage had been harassed.
National Law Journal (Subscription Required): A federal appeals court on Monday will hear arguments for the first time on how to apply recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent to a federal statute that protects religious groups from unconstitutionally restrictive land-use regulations.
National Review: As I noted last week, in a recent San Francisco Daily Journal article (subscriber-only), judicial-ethics expert Arthur Hellman seconded my call that the Ninth Circuit investigate whether its process for assigning judges to cases has been abused for ideological purposes.
National Review: Today the Supreme Court resumes its weekly oral arguments after a long winter’s nap. The court held a conference last week to consider a long list of cert petitions, so we should be hearing about some of those too.
National Review: Late last Friday, the Ninth Circuit issued an order denying the petitions for rehearing en banc in the Nevada and Idaho marriage cases. The order includes a strong dissent from Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, joined by Judge Johnnie B.Rawlinson and Judge Carlos Bea. (It’s possible that other judges voted for rehearing but chose not to register their votes publicly, but, given the composition of the Ninth Circuit, I doubt that the vote margin was close.) Rawlinson is a Clinton appointee. Given the dissent’s discussion of Loving v. Virginia, I’ll also note that she is African-American.
National Review: I’ve presented evidence that arch-liberal Ninth Circuit judge Stephen Reinhardt has benefited from unusual case assignments by the Ninth Circuit clerk’s office. I’m now pleased to highlight a massive statistical analysis of Ninth Circuit case assignments that uncovers statistically significant anomalies that uniquely favorReinhardt. According to the study’s author, the odds that random chance would have generated Reinhardt’s pattern of case assignments are “about 3350 to 1”—yes, that’s three thousand, three hundred fifty to one—against.
National Review: In mid-December, I published a column in the San Francisco Daily Journal and theLos Angeles Daily Journal (sister legal newspapers) in which I called for the Ninth Circuit to investigate whether its process for assigning judges to cases has been abused for ideological purposes.
Verdict Justia: When a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit invalidated state bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada in October 2014, the panel included both Judge Stephen Reinhardt and Judge Marsha S. Berzon. Since 2010, the Ninth Circuit has heard 11 gay rights cases. Judge Reinhardt was on the panel in four of them while Judge Berzon was on five. Eighteen of the court’s active judges served on no same-sex marriage case. How likely are these panels the product of chance?
SCOTUS Blog: Arguing that the Ninth Circuit panel that ruled against the Nevada ban on same-sex marriage last week did not appear to have been selected by a neutral process, a private group in that state on Monday asked the full Ninth Circuit to reconsider that ruling to assure that the group got a fair hearing.
U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit: Some 133 law clerks participated in the intensive two-day program, which was held September 18-19, 2013, at the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco.
9th Circuit reverses sanctions against church seeking identity of Bash Back activists who interrupted worship
Courthouse News Service: A Michigan church that subpoenaed several anonymous email accounts after LGBT-rights activists interrupted its services should not face a sanction, the 9th Circuit ruled Monday.