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Wow. The 9th Circuit Court sure does get reversed a lot.(33 posts)

Wow. The 9th Circuit Court sure does get reversed a lot.OldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 9:23 AM
What's up with that? Anyone have an explanation? Are they bad judges or something??
It's what happens if you make sense in a GOP era.... (nm)cory
Sep 17, 2003 9:30 AM
Yes.moneyman
Sep 17, 2003 9:37 AM
They ARE bad judges using flawed legal arguments, all the while ignoring the views of the voters via the state legislatures. That is exactly why the controversial cases like the California recall are brought there.

$$
they're idiots?mohair_chair
Sep 17, 2003 9:46 AM
The country looks at their mailing address, sees "San Francisco," and thinks "Ah, now I understand."

The reality is that the 9th circuit is made up of judges from all over the Western USA: California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii.

I think the reason is quite simple. The judges are idiots. They clearly are not the best and brightest, since they can't seem to make decisions that stick.
I see. So they're reversed a lot more than otherOldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 9:58 AM
circuit courts in the country, huh?
Actually, they're not,TJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 10:08 AM
The 9th circuit isn't reversed much more than any other on a statistical basis, but they are reversed more in high-profile cases. Medical marijuana, the pledge of allegience, etc.

Also, when they are reversed by the Supreme Court, it is by 9-0 decision more than any other. So when they're wrong, they're really wrong.
You mean, for example, thatOldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 10:19 AM
in its last term, the Supreme Court reversed 74 percent of the cases it reviewed from all of the appellate courts in the country? And that it reversed 75 percent of the cases it heard from the 9th Circuit? One percent more?

Man, them whacko Clinton liberals on the 9th Circuit really ARE out of the mainstream. Here they are, dealing with crackpot cases about pot, flags and fairies, and their reversal rate is a HUMONGOUS one percent over the national average.
That wouldn't be accurate either,TJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 10:27 AM
Their deviation from the mainstream is more obvious in the cases where they are reversed 9-0, which they apparently have a big lead over all other courts in. One would think that for a case to be reversed, it would require some deep, divisive arguement - but the Supreme Court reverses the 9th Circuit unanimously more often than any other.

FWIW I do think it unreasonable that three junior justices, a majority of whom were appointed by a man who is campaigning in California, should decide this case. I might go so far as to say that Clinton-appointees should recuse themselves.
Some might argue it's unreasonable for theOldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 10:35 AM
Supreme Court to decide a presidential election, but that's the way the system is set up. You have to just trust that judges will be dispassionate, even if someone not running for anything is campaigning in their vicinity.

Hey Gray Out Davis is universally reviled and despised and a clear failure as governor, isn't he? That's what the commentariat on radio and cable tells us. Californians HATE him. Recall is a foregone conclusion. A delay will just give the Repubs more time to get their ducks in a row, get lined up behind ONE candidate. It works to their advantage.
It probably is,TJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 10:41 AM
It probably is unreasonable for the Supreme Court to decide a Presidential election, but then again, they didn't decide it. But let's not have that arguement.

As I understand it, the California Constitution is very specific about the timeframe that a recall must take place in. Furthermore, if you're recalling an officeholder, why would you want him to remain in the office while the recall is challenged in court? Shouldn't there be some mechanism such that he can't just tie this up in the courts until his term naturally expires? Why not put him on administrative leave, without pay, from the time the election was constitutionally mandated to be held to the time that it is actually held? I don't see why he should be entitled to stay in office while his removal is challenged.
Because he's elected. Being elected is a seriousOldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 10:46 AM
business. It trumps just about everything, especially a few yaps buying themselves a recall referendum. If it succeeds, fine; till it does, this is just a situation where a duly elected offical is being challenged by a HUGE minority of the people.
Being recalled is just as seriousTJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 10:56 AM
He shouldn't stay in his job any longer than he is Constitutionally allowed to, and if the right number of signatures are collected, the Constitution specifies that an election be held within so many days.

How about this - the US Supreme Court rules that the punch card ballots will cause an unnacceptable error rate in the Presidential election. They can't feasibly be replaced until 2008. Your reasoning is that Bush should remain the President, because he was the last person elected?
Specious argument. Bush's term would have expired.OldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 11:05 AM
Being recalled IS as serious as being elected. Indeed. It is an election. It is the will of the people, expressed. But Davis has NOT been recalled. He HAS been elected, to a term he is now in. He is most certainly Constitutionally entitled to serve out that term UNTIL he is recalled.

Boy, you talk about a cheap coup to overturn the sovereign will of the people in an election -- throw his ass out of office without even bothering to formally vote for recall! Shudder. You got you a recipe for banana republic here, TJ.

I'll lay some specious reasoning on you: You're arguing that we should go ahead and execute a person charged with a capital crime because the jury was disqualified and, well, what's the point of waiting till there's another one empaneled?
That is true...TJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 11:12 AM
My argument is that Davis' term should expire on the date that the Constitution mandates the election be held, regardless of whether that election is actually held or not. Otherwise there is an incentive for Davis to drag it out until his term naturally expires.

I'm also not advocating throwing him out - just placing him on administrative leave until an election can be held. His Leutenent Governer would step into the corner office.

As far as your example goes, I would say that the more direct correllary to what I'm proposing is that we keep the prisoner in jail from the period when he is charged until such time as the jury has the ability to vote.

You are also ignoring the "sovereign will of the people" who have signed a petition which demands that he be recalled in accordance with the State Constitution.
If a duly and freely elected governor can be placed onOldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 11:20 AM
'administrative leave without pay' simply because a small minority of people have signed petitions asking that a recall election be held, well, banana republic is the best description I can think of.

If you have a problem with the courts, fine; I think the ruling is silly myself. But that has nothing to do, really, with the fundamental violation of democracy you're proposing here. I don't think many who see elections as sovereign, even secularly holy, democratic events would likely agree with you on this.
Violation of democracyTJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 11:28 AM
I do view elections very strongly. However, a referendum petition must be viewed with similar gravity - it is also the direct voice of the electorate. How would you feel if the recall petition had the signatures of half of all voters, or even 100% of all voters, in California? Would it still be invalid?

Where the Constitution explicitly outlines the steps involved, I do think it's unreasonable to go outside the Constitutionally mandated course of action. My problem has nothing to do with the punch-card ballots - it has to do with the court pre-empting what is apparently very clear in the state Constitution. If Californians want to live within this stupid system, so be it. Furthermore, I don't want to hear about their problems until April.
Me either. I say vote and move on. nmOldEdScott
Sep 17, 2003 11:30 AM
Strange logicStarliner
Sep 17, 2003 8:02 PM
By your logic, a legally elected official would lose their position without any official public consensus that would cause that official to be thrown out ... you assume that this offical will be recalled when in fact the voters may end up voting No on the recall .... it's flawed logic that would scuttle the notion of democracy and the will of the people ... don't you think your position is a bit too draconian considering that this official was legally elected, has committed no crimes, has no major lies to his discredit, and really has no reason for losing his position other than partisan reasons and the fact that he is a lackluster figure.

The recall law in California came about in the early 20th century because up to then California was controlled by a few rich railroad barons whose concerns were not seen to be in the best interests of the state. A populist upswell eventually derailed their power and control, and the recall law was created with the intention to prevent greedy bigwigs from taking over by ensuring that the people of California would have the means to take back the control in such an event - a guarantee for majority rule.

Ironically, the law is now being used by the Republican minority to attempt to void the will of the majority who voted for Davis, who's certainly no robber baron.

It's a fun and interesting time to be a Californian, now.
He was elected. Triggering a recall is not winning one...PdxMark
Sep 17, 2003 11:06 AM
Davis won an election in which 6+ million votes were cast for governor. The recall petition got 1.3 million singatures, about 1/2 the number who voted for the losing GOP candidate Simon. To put a candidate on leave when 1/2 the supporters of the losing candidate can trigger a recall would undermine the electroal process. Triggering recalls with such low numbers also undermines the electoral process, but those are the current rules.
bad statisticsmohair_chair
Sep 17, 2003 11:23 AM
The recall only required about 1 million signatures, and they actually brought in a few hundred thousand more just to be safe. So you can't honestly criticize it as only a small percentage of the total votes cast, because it didn't need to be any more. If it required more signatures, who's to say they couldn't have gotten more?

The whole recall thing is stupid, but the people who wanted this thing followed all the rules. And Davis, rather than rising to the occasion, has starting whoring himself out like never before, signing any bill you stick in front of him if he thinks it will win him votes. Davis would sign a bill declaring night as day if he thought it could keep him in office. All Davis has done is prove that he doesn't deserve the office, and many people who were against the recall drive now are voting for it and voting against Davis. Funny how things work sometimes.
bad law, not bad statisticsPdxMark
Sep 17, 2003 2:07 PM
Which statistics are off? The 6+ million votes? That the 1.3 million signatures amounts to half the losers votes? No.

I was responding to TJ's thought that once a recall is triggered, the official shold be put on leave. I think that's wrong, becuase it would allow 1/2 the voters for the losing candidate to remove the winning candidate from office.

I also noted that the recall petitioners met the rules, which I think are too permissive.

I don't know anything about Davis' actions now. But if a $38 billion deficit is ground for recall, I'd think a $450 billion dollar deficit is grounds for imprisonment. Guantanamo is nice this time of year.
We could impeach the President, it's been done before...(nm)TJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 2:48 PM
The high comedy of the deficit was Gray Davis saying how opposed he was to the recall because it will cost taxpayers $75 million. If only he had previously cared about $75 million...
Exactly. And a president isn't removed from office or put onOldEdScott
Sep 18, 2003 5:28 AM
unpaid leave when he's impeached. He's only removed if he's convicted in the Senate. His election stands until the process of reversing the election runs its course.
apples and orangesmohair_chair
Sep 17, 2003 2:50 PM
You need to stop bringing up your statistic about 1/2 the voters for the losing candidate. It might be mathmatically true, but it's absolutely meaningless. First of all, I'm sure that more than a few of those 1.3 million voted for the winner (Davis) but signed the petition to recall him. Second, the recall requirement was only for around 1 million signatures of registered voters, which was met and exceeded. They didn't need six million signatures!!!

Furthermore, there is no requirement that those who signed the recall voted for the winner, voted for the loser, or voted at all! Signatures could even be newly registered voters who have never had a chance to vote. So tying the number of signatures to the number of voters in the election and rolling your eyes is a totally meaningless exercise. It's apples and oranges.
apples and oranges - you missed the point againPdxMark
Sep 17, 2003 3:08 PM
The issue was whether to put an official on leave of absence based upon a recall being authorized.

That would effectively remove an official (temporarily) based upon signatures amounting to 1/2 of those who voted for the losing candidate. I'm saying that putting an official out of office (ie, "on leave") based upon 1/2 the number of signatures (votes) that LOST would be anti-democratic. That's all I'm saying.

As for tying the number of signatures to the number of votes in the previous election, I think it's California law that does that, not me. You're right, it IS apples & oranges, you just don't seem to see which I am talking about.
it doesn'tmohair_chair
Sep 17, 2003 11:04 AM
The theory is that delaying helps Davis, because the next election is a democratic primary in March. According to theory, more democratic voters will turn out then, thereby saving Davis, or at least electing Bustamonte in his place, which is a bigger disaster than keeping Davis.

What doesn't make sense about the court decision is that the same election methods used to elect Davis twice before apparently aren't accurate enough to recall him.
supreme court reversalsDougSloan
Sep 20, 2003 1:49 PM
Remember that the Supreme Court takes only the cases it wants, with few exceptions. Out of thousands of applications a year, it only decides about 180 or so (last I read). It takes 4 judges to agree to take a case. They are probably only going to spend time on a case if they are going to reverse, for if not, they can just leave the case below alone. So, if they take a case, odds are the winner below, usually from a state supreme court of US court of appeals, is probably going to lose, no matter what circuit it came from.

Nonetheless, the 9th is very liberal, and largely continues the liberal judge history of ignoring existing law and mandates and rendering result-oriented decisions. At least they are strong on 1st Amendment speech rights.

Doug
Or just overly liberal,TJeanloz
Sep 17, 2003 10:05 AM
Of the three judges who issued the ruling two have their J.D.'s from Berkely, which is not exactly a bastion of the fair and balanced. Two were appointed by Clinton, one by Carter. None is a Senior Justice on the Court.

Of the entire Court, more than half are Clinton appointees. It is the most Democratic federal court in the country, followed closely by the 2nd circuit.
No such thing............nmMR_GRUMPY
Sep 17, 2003 11:15 AM
Boalt Hall School of Lawjtolleson
Sep 17, 2003 11:50 AM
is hardly a bastion of liberal legal thought. Just because it is located at the University of California, Berkeley, make no mistake. It is a mainstream-to-conservative law school dominated by white men in bow ties.

I graduated from there in 1989. I had more liberal faculty at Baylor, the world's largest Southern Baptist University, where I did my undergrad.

Boalt is one of the best law schools in the country. Trash the Ninth Circuit if you choose, but don't think you can invoke the three-decade old reputation of Berkeley as a basis for it.
what about the students?DougSloan
Sep 21, 2003 12:14 PM
Any chance that the student body was/is largely liberal? If so, I would think fellow students could be as much as an influence as the professors. Even the University of Missouri, in the heart of the conservative midwest, had a very liberal student body (professors, too, actually).

Also, judges on the bench now in the Courts of Appeals are probably around 50-60 years old, which would make them 1960's flower children.

Doug
what about the students?mickey-mac
Sep 21, 2003 4:35 PM
I've worked with a few Boalt Hall grads over the past 12 years and, for the most part, they've been fairly conservative. However, I've been working civil defense for the past 12 years, and it doesn't generally attract flaming liberals.
They're out of sync with the Supreme Court . . .ms
Sep 17, 2003 1:54 PM
Every year at the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference Chief Justice Rehnquist gives a 10-20 minute speech prior to a panel of academics who dissect the Supreme Court's recently-completed term. Two or three years ago, Rehnquist noted that the Supreme Court had taken certiorari in 20+ cases from the Ninth Circuit and reversed all but one, but had taken certiorari in only one case from the Fourth Circuit and had affirmed it. Rehnquist then looked directly at the Fourth Circuit judges who were sitting near the front of the room and said something to the effect that he wanted them to know that the Supreme Court liked what they were doing and to "keep up the good work." Now you know why the Government wants to bring terrorism cases in the Eastern District of Virginia, one of the courts under the Fourth Circuit.

Using any court's reversal rate at the Supreme Court is somewhat misleading. The Supreme Court only grants certiorari in 80-90 cases each year. The fact that four of the nine justices think that a case should be heard (the standard for a grant of certiorari) already means that there is a substantial possibility that the lower court will be reversed. And, in most terms, the majority of the cases the Supreme Court hears are reversed. Even the Fourth Circuit gets reversed by the Supreme Court. That being said, the Ninth Circuit is reversed more often than other appellate courts. That doesn't mean that the judges of the Ninth Circuit are "bad" or "wrong." It just means that the Ninth Circuit's judicial philosophy, if a court of 20+ judges really can have a philosophy, is different than the Supreme Court's. By the way, when the Fourth Circuit is reversed by the Supreme Court it usually is because the Fourth Circuit took a position even too conservative for the Supreme Court.