An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit dropped one-liners, harsh mockery, and severe realkeeping for a little over an hour, and it’s entirely watchable because it’s so damn funny.
A federal prosecutor in California inserted a “fact” into his rebuttal that wasn’t in the record.
Overzealous prosecutor lies to get a conviction? To channel Ralph Wiggum, “that’s unpossible.” Now I can take off my old defense lawyer hat.
After the trial judge responded to these charges by shrugging his shoulders, the case wound its way to an en banc hearing of the Ninth Circuit, where a bevy of judges (including Chief Judge Alex Kozinski) rips into the government for sandbagging the defense out of a fair trial.
Immigration is a hot topic these days. It was the subject of a recent Supreme Court case, Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting (a rare loss for the Chamber, which fares well at SCOTUS). It’s getting implicated in the LGBT rights movement, as gay and lesbian binational couples fight deportations caused by the Defense of Marriage Act. And as Election 2012 gets underway, we’ll surely be hearing more about immigration in the weeks and months ahead.
As the immigration debate continues, let’s keep in mind the important contributions made to our nation by immigrants. For example, one of our most distinguished federal judges — Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — is an immigrant. He was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1950, and he immigrated to the United States with his family in 1962, at the age of 12.
Chief Judge Kozinski recently sent me a great story relating to his naturalization, which I will now share with you (with His Honor’s permission)….
Or at least a big benchslap upside the head, courtesy of the Supreme Court. Per Orin Kerr:
A lot of people have talked about the Supreme Court’s small docket; Judge Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit is actually doing something about it. He handed down an opinion today in Carrington v. United States that has “Destination: One First Street” written all over it.
Read the rest of Professor Kerr’s devastating critique here. Howard Bashman also doesn’t think highly of the opinion.
Professor Kerr concludes by quoting George Will: “[t]here should be two Supreme Courts, one to reverse the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the other to hear all other cases.” Will’s article was about a “Reinhardt special.” But as Carrington shows, Judge Stephen Reinhardt isn’t racking up reversals all by himself; he gets by with a little help from his friends.
One final note: Carrington gave Judge Consuelo Callahan, the luscious Latina sometimes mentioned as a possibleSupreme Courtnominee, the opportunity to write an impassioned, high-profile dissent. Judge Callahan should be grateful to Judge Pregerson for giving her the chance to develop conservative street cred. If she gets nominated to the SCOTUS someday, she should thank Judge Pregerson at her investiture.*
(We’d be curious to hear what Professor Doug Berman, sentencing guidelines guru, thinks of Carrington.) Update: Professor Berman weighs in. Interesting! Are the conservatives now guilty of putting their policy preferences ahead of the letter of the law?
* Best correction ever, from Slate: “Our article originally identified Consuelo Callahan as Consuela Callahan.”
Because, you know, all Latinas in the state of California are named “Consuela.” They’re all maids. And they’re all played by Lupe Ontiveros in the movies. Carrington v. United States [Volokh Conspiracy] Carrington v. United States (PDF) [Ninth Circuit via How Appealing]
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