Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

The Ninth Circus Rides Again . . .


As this Daily Journal article (kindly reprinted by Howard Bashman) recounts, the Ninth Circuit again had an abysmal record before the Supreme Court this year.  It is not only that 15 of its 18 (83%) cases appealed from the Ninth Circuit were reversed or vacated, but rather that 12 of those cases were unanimously decided by the Supreme Court.  Remarkably, four of the opinions were summarily reversed–a process by which the court grants review only to immediately vacate the opinion below without the benefit of full briefing or oral arguments.  As one might expect, summary reversal–the Supreme Court’s equivalent of showing a lower court the pimp hand–is reserved for the most egregious of legal errors, and therefore the process is particularly well suited for dealing with the Ninth Circuit.

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