2/16/17 – 9th Court of Appeals


The Ninth Appeals Court’s decision-making has come under fire.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

The ninth ruled against President Donald Trump’s temporary ban of travelers from seven terror-prone states.

For years, the 9th has had one of the worst records when it comes to having opinions overturned by the Supreme Court. Just in the past two years [here, here], the 9th has had 18 of 26 cases overturned. Twelve unanimously.

A few years back, the American Bar Association scrutinized the records of all 13 appeals courts. The ABA gave the 9th a grade of C-minus.

Over the long haul, about 80 percent of the 9th’s decisions are vacated or reversed. A stunning percentage are overturned unanimously. The liberal and conservative Supreme Court Justices agree the 9th gets it wrong when it comes to its reading of the law and the Constitution.

There are two indicators of how the Supreme Court may treat the 9th’s travel ban ruling. The first is its history of failure before the high court. The second is what happened in a somewhat similar 2015 case. The court ruled it “lack[ed] … ‘judicial authority to substitute [its] political judgment’ ” for how Washington manages visas.


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