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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals
US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svg
Chief:Alex KozinskiJudges:28
Posts:29Vacancies:1
Active judges
BeaBerzonBybeeCallahanCliftonChristenFletcherGouldGraberHurwitzIkutaMcKeownMurguiaNguyenO'ScannlainOwensPaezPregersonRawlinsonReinhardtSilvermanSmithSmithTallmanThomasWardlawWatford
Senior Judges
AlarconCanbyFarrisFernandezFisherGoodwinHawkinsHugKleinfeldLeavyNelsonNoonanSchroederTashimaTrottWallace
Former Judges
Key:
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
0%0%-10%
10%-25%25%-40%
More than 40%

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sometimes referred to simply as the Ninth Circuit, is one of the thirteen federal appellate courts. The court was established in 1891. It is by far the largest appellate court with 29 posts. The court is headquartered at the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse in San Francisco, California, but meets at locations throughout the Ninth Circuit.

Vacancy warning level

Currently the vacancy warning level for the Ninth Circuit is set at blue. The court currently has one vacancy out of its 29 total seats.

Pending nominations

JudgeConfirmationBachelorsLaw
Michelle T. FriedlandStanford U., B.A., 1995Stanford U. Law, J.D., 2000


Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Chief Judge Alex KozinskiJuly 23, 1950Bucharest, RomaniaReagan 11/7/1985 - Present2007-PresentUCLA 1972UCLA School of Law 1975
Judge Andrew Hurwitz1947New York, NY 6/12/2012-PresentMary M. SchroederPrinceton, A.B., 1968Yale, J.D., 1972
Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw1954San Francisco, CAClinton 8/3/1998 - PresentClifford WallaceUniversity of California-Los Angeles 1976University of California-Los Angeles 1979
Judge Mary Murguia1960Kansas City, KSObama 1/4/2011 - PresentMichael HawkinsU. of Kansas, 1982U. of Kansas Law School, 1985
Judge Morgan Christen1961Chehalis, WAObama 1/11/2012 - PresentU. of Washington, 1983Golden Gate U. Law, 1986
Judge Harry Pregerson1923Los Angeles, CACarter 11/2/1979 - PresentNew Seat|92 Stat. 1629University of California 1947California Boalt Hall School of Law 1950
Judge Stephen Reinhardt1931New York, NYCarter 9/11/1980 - PresentPomona College 1951Yale Law School 1954
Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain1937New York, NYReagan 9/26/1986 - PresentRobert BoocheverSt. John`s University 1957Harvard Law School 1963
Judge Sidney Thomas1953Bozeman, MTClinton 1/4/1996 - PresentDorothy Wright NelsonMontana State University 1975University of Montana School of Law 1978
Judge Barry Silverman1951New York, NYClinton 2/4/1998 - PresentWilliam Canby, Jr.Arizona State University 1973Arizona State University College of Law 1976
Judge Susan Graber1949Oklahoma City, OKClinton 3/19/1998 - PresentEdward LeavyWellesley College 1969Yale Law School 1972
Judge Margaret McKeown1951Casper, WYClinton 4/8/1998 - PresentJoseph Jerome FarrisUniversity of Wyoming 1972Georgetown University Law Center 1975
Judge William Fletcher1945Philadelphia, PAClinton 10/9/1998 - PresentWilliam Albert NorrisHarvard University 1968Yale Law School 1975
Judge Ronald Gould1946St Louis, MOClinton 11/22/1999 - PresentRobert R. BeezerUniversity of Pennsylvania 1968University of Michigan Law School 1973
Judge Richard Paez1947Salt Lake city, UTClinton 3/14/2000 - PresentCecil F. PooleBrigham Young U. 1969U. of California Berkeley Law 1972
Judge Marsha Berzon1945Cincinnati, OHClinton 3/16/2000 - PresentJohn NoonanRadcliffe College '66University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law '73
Judge Richard Tallman1953Oakland, CAClinton 5/25/2000 - PresentBetty Binns FletcherUniversity of Santa Clara 1975Northwestern University School of Law 1978
Judge Johnnie Rawlinson1952Concord, NCClinton 7/26/2000 - PresentMelvin BrunettiNorth Carolina A&T State University 1974University of the Pacific 1979
Judge Richard Clifton1950Framingham, MAW. Bush 7/30/2002 - PresentCynthia Holcomb HallPrinceton University 1972Yale Law School 1975
Judge Jay Bybee1953Oakland, CAW. Bush 3/21/2003 - PresentProcter Hug, Jr.Brigham Young University 1977Brigham Young University 1980
Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan1950Palo Alto, CAW. Bush 5/28/2003 - PresentFerdinand Francis FernandezStanford University 1972University of the Pacific 1975
Judge Carlos Bea1934San Sebastian, SpainW. Bush 10/1/2003 - PresentCharles Edward WigginsStanford U. '56Stanford Law '58
Judge Milan Smith1942Pendleton, ORW. Bush 5/18/2006 - PresentWallace TashimaBrigham Young University 1966University of Chicago Law School 1969
Judge Sandra Ikuta1954Los Angeles, CAW. Bush 6/23/2006 - PresentJames R. BrowningUniversity of California, Berkeley 1976UCLA Law School 1988
Judge Randy Smith1949Logan, UTW. Bush 3/19/2007 - PresentThomas G. NelsonBrigham Young University 1974J. Reuben Clark School of Law 1977
Judge Jacqueline Nguyen1965Dalat, VietnamObama 5/7/2012 - PresentNew Seat|121 Stat. 2534Occidental College, A.B., 1987U. of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1991
Judge Paul Watford1967Orange County, CAObama 5/21/2012 - PresentPamela Ann RymerU. of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1989U. of California, Los Angeles Law, J.D., 1994
Judge John B. Owens1971Washington D.C. 3/31/2014-PresentStephen S. TrottU. of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1993Stanford Law, J.D., 1996

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Mary SchroederCarter 9/26/1979 - 12/31/20112000-200712/31/2011-PresentSwarthmore College 1962University of Chicago Law School 1965
Senior judge Andrew KleinfeldH.W. Bush 9/16/1991 - 6/12/20106/12/2010 - PresentWesleyan University 1966Harvard Law School 1969
Senior Judge Raymond FisherClinton 10/12/1999 - 4/1/20134/1/2013 - PresentUniversity of California, Santa Barbara '61Stanford Law School '66
Senior Judge Alfred GoodwinNixon 11/30/1971 - 1/31/19911988-19911/31/1991 - PresentUniversity of Oregon 1947University of Oregon Law School 1951
Senior Judge John Clifford WallaceNixon 6/28/1972 - 4/8/19961991-19964/8/1996 - PresentSan Diego State University 1952University of California Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law 1955
Senior Judge Procter HugCarter 9/15/1977 - 1/1/20021996-20001/1/2002 - PresentUniversity of Nevada, Reno 1953Stanford Law School 1958
Senior Judge Joseph FarrisCarter 9/27/1979 - 3/4/1995'3/4/1995 - PresentMorehouse College 1941Atlanta University 1955
Senior Judge Arthur AlarconCarter 11/2/1979 - 11/21/199211/21/1992 - PresentUniversity of Southern California 1949University of Southern California Law School 1951
Senior Judge Dorothy Wright NelsonCarter 12/20/1979-1/1/19951/1/1995-PresentU. of California, Los Angeles 1950U. of California, Los Angeles Law 1953
Senior Judge William CanbyCarter '5/23/1980 - 5/23/19965/23/1996 - PresentYale University 1953University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 1956
Senior Judge John NoonanReagan 12/17/1985-12/27/199612/27/1996-PresentHarvard College 1946Catholic University of America 1949
Senior Judge Edward LeavyReagan 3/23/1987 - 5/19/19975/19/1997 - PresentUniversity of Portland 1950Notre Dame Law School 1953
Senior Judge Stephen TrottReagan 3/25/1988 - 12/31/200412/31/2004 - PresentWesleyan University 1962Harvard Law School 1965
Senior Judge Ferdinand Francis FernandezH.W. Bush 5/22/1989-6/1/20026/1/2002-PresentUniversity of Southern California 1958University of Southern California Law School 1962
Senior Judge Michael HawkinsClinton 9/15/1994 - 2/12/20102/12/2010-PresentArizona State University 1967Arizona State University College of Law 1970
Senior Judge Atsushi Wallace TashimaClinton 1/4/1996 - 6/30/20046/30/2004 - PresentUniversity of California, Los Angeles 1958Harvard Law School 1961


Jurisdiction

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States District Court for the Western District of WashingtonUnited States District Court for the Western District of WashingtonUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of WashingtonUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of WashingtonUnited States District Court for the District of IdahoUnited States District Court for the District of MontanaUnited States District Court for the District of OregonUnited States District Court for the District of NevadaUnited States District Court for the District of ArizonaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the District of AlaskaUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of HawaiiUnited States District Court for the District of GuamUnited States District Court for the District of GuamUnited States District Court for the Northern Mariana IslandsUnited States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands
Map of the Ninth Circuit. Click on a district to find out more about it.

The Ninth Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over cases heard in one of its subsidiary districts. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law. Appeals of rulings by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are petitioned to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Anthony Kennedy is the Circuit Justice for the Ninth Circuit.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:

It also has appellate jurisdiction over the following territorial courts:

Caseloads

Federal Court Case Load Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining casesTerminations on merits:Terminations on ProcedureCross Appeals:Total Terminations: Written decisions per Judge**
201214041126842672512735139907938433546212735217
201115142121412728313025142586517602748113025168
201017306119822928813340159486324651550113340148
200917709122112992012818171025509682248712818137
200816267135772984412373174715800606850512373126
200717299125492984813600162486503664345413600147
200616074146363071013424172866387661142613424156
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website (for District Courts) and reflect the calendar year through September.    **This statistic reflects only judges that are active for the entire 12 month period.


Notable cases





History

Court history

The Ninth Circuit was created by the Evarts Act of 1891, which established nine circuit courts of appeal.

Judicial posts

The large size of the current court is due to the fact that both the population of the western states and the geographic jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit have increased dramatically since Congress created the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1891. The court was originally granted appellate jurisdiction over federal district courts in California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. As new states and territories were added to the federal judicial hierarchy in the twentieth century, many of those in the West came under control of the Ninth Circuit: the newly acquired territory of Hawaii in 1900, Arizona upon its accession to statehood in 1912, the then-territory of Alaska in 1948, Guam in 1951, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in 1977.[7][8]

Year Jurisdiction Total population Pop. as % of nat'l pop. Number of active judgeships
1891 CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 2,087,000 3.3% 2
1900 CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 2,798,000 3.7% 3
1920 AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 7,415,000 6.7% 3
1940 AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 11,881,000 9.0% 7
1960 AK, AZ, CA, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 22,607,000 12.6% 9
1980 AK, AZ, CA, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 37,170,000 16.4% 23
2000 AK, AZ, CA, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA 54,575,000 19.3% 28

Reputation of the Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit is generally considered the most liberal in the nation. This reputation most likely dates back to the late 1970s, when President Jimmy Carter appointed about three-quarters of the court's judges.[9] That notion was reinforced during the Supreme Court session in 2011, when the high court reversed or invalidated 19 out of 26 decisions reviewed from the circuit.[10]

Some legal scholars, however, call that assessment of the court misguided. In 2010, the Dean of the UC Irvine Law School said, "The reality is a court that is very ideologically diverse."[11]

Proposals to split the Ninth Circuit

Several proposals have been introduced to split the Ninth Circuit into two separate circuits, the Ninth and a newly created Twelfth Circuit Court of Appeals. An analysis from the Alaska Bar Association (in 2003) mentions bills introduced in the House or Senate in 1972, 1983, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001.[12]

The main argument for dividing the circuit has to do with its sheer size; the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over about 20% of the population of the United States.[10] The political ideology of citizens of the states in the circuit has also frequently been mentioned as a reason for a split. Historically, proposals to divide the circuit have come from legislators from the states in the Pacific Northwest, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.[12]

The following are the most prominent of the former proposals that have been considered by congressional leaders, legislative commissions, and interest groups.

Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals, Final Report, Dec. 18, 1998:

The Commission found that splitting the Ninth Circuit would be “impractical and … unnecessary.” However, it recommended that the circuit be divided into three “adjudicative divisions” each of which would hear appeals from specific regions. A fourth at-large “circuit division” would be invoked solely to resolve conflicts of law arising within a particular division. This proposal would have also abolished circuit-wide en banc or limited en banc circuit panels, instead creating en banc panels from each of the three regions as necessary.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of Reorganization Act of 2003, S. 562:

This proposal would split the Ninth Circuit into two, with California and Nevada being retained by the new Ninth Circuit and the remaining Ninth Circuit jurisdictions being assigned to a new Twelfth Circuit. The bill would have created ten new judgeships, with 25 being retained by the Ninth Circuit and 13 being assigned to the Twelfth Circuit. Each current Ninth Circuit judge would have beed assigned to a new circuit based on the location of his or her duty station. This proposal was co-sponsored by seven Republican Senators from Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Oregon. After a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts on April 7, 2004, no vote was held.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2003, H.R. 2723:

This proposal would have split the Ninth Circuit into two, with Arizona, California, and Nevada being retained by the new Ninth Circuit and the remaining Ninth Circuit jurisdictions being assigned to a new Twelfth Circuit. The bill would have created five permanent and two temporary judgeships, all to be retained by the new Ninth Circuit. The temporary judgeships would terminate upon the existence of a vacancy 10 years or more after passage of the act. Each Ninth Circuit judge would be assigned to a new circuit based on the location of his or her duty station. This proposal was co-sponsored by Republican congressmen from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. After a hearing by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property on October 21, 2003, no vote was held. This bill was reintroduced in the 109th Congress as H.R. 212, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2005.

Ninth Circuit Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2004, S. 878:

This proposal would have created two new circuits, the Twelfth and Thirteenth. The Ninth Circuit would retain California, Hawaii, Guam, and the CNMI. The Twelfth Circuit would contain Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. The Thirteenth Circuit would contain Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. The Act would have provided that existing judges be assigned to new circuits based on the location of their duty stations, after which the number of active judgeships in the new Ninth Circuit would be increased to 19. This bill was reintroduced in the 109th Congress as the Ninth Circuit Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2005, H.R. 211, and was co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and the same Republican Congressmen who had sponsored the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2003.

The Circuit Court of Appeals Restructuring and Modernization Act of 2005, S. 1845

This proposal would have split the Ninth Circuit into two, with California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands being retained by the Ninth Circuit, and the remaining Ninth Circuit jurisdictions being assigned to new Twelfth Circuit. It would have created five permanent and two temporary judgeships, all to be retained by the new Ninth Circuit. The temporary judgeships would have terminated upon the existence of a vacancy 10 years or more after passage of the act. Each Ninth Circuit judge would be assigned to a new circuit based on the location of his or her duty station. The proposal was co-sponsored by nine Republican senators from Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Oregon, including the same group of senators that had sponsored S. 562 in the previous Congress. It was before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, and hearings were held on it. [13]

For a transcript of the PBS Newshour's "Debate Brews over Splitting 9th Circuit Court" from January 17, 2005, visit this link.

Former judges

Former Chief Judges

In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as Chief Judge. A vacancy in the office of Chief Judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The Chief Judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[14][15]

Former judges

For more information on the judges of the Ninth Circuit, see former federal judges of the Ninth Circuit.

Federal courthouse

The court's regular meeting places are Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, and Pasadena, California, but panels of the court occasionally travel to hear cases in other locations within its territorial jurisdiction. Although the judges travel around the circuit, the court arranges its hearings so that cases from the northern region of the circuit are heard in Seattle or Portland, cases from southern California are heard in Pasadena, and cases from northern California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii are heard in San Francisco.

The Ninth Circuit is located in the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse in San Francisco, California. The courthouse was built at the turn of the century and was originally home to the court and the post office. Completed in 1905, the building was designed by the Supervising Architect of the Treasury, James Knox Taylor. The building was damaged in the earthquake of 1906, but was one of only two buildings left standing in that neighborhood of San Francisco and became a symbol of the rebuilding and restoration effort. Repairs were completed in 1910 and the building reopened. It was again damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earth-quake that struck San Francisco. This earthquake gave birth to a rebuilding and restoration effort complete with seismic retrofitting and the addition of 45,000 square feet of space costing a total of $91,000,000. The building formally reopened on October 17, 1996. Prior to this, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[16]

Media

In December 2013, the Ninth Circuit announced that it would become the first federal appeals court in the nation to allow live video footage of its proceedings in major cases to be streamed online via its website. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski noted that this step forward would not only make the court "more accessible and transparent," but it would also serve as a way to "open the court's doors even wider so that more people can see and hear what transpires in the courtroom." While the vast majority of the Ninth Circuit's cases are heard by three-judge panels, the new streaming video policy applies only to cases that are heard en banc, meaning that 11 members of the court -- ten randomly selected judges as well as the chief judge -- preside over the hearing. Live video streaming began on December 9, 2013.

The Ninth Circuit's en banc streaming video feed can be accessed here.[17]

See also

External links

References

  1. New York Times, "Sexual Orientation Is No Basis for Jury Exclusion, a Federal Appeals Court Rules," January 21, 2014
  2. SF Weekly, "Ninth Circuit Orders New HIV Drug Pricing Trial After Gay Juror Ousted," January 21, 2014
  3. Los Angeles Times "Appeals court asked to decide if gay judge could be fair on Prop. 8 case," December 8, 2011
  4. United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Perry v. Brown, February 7, 2012
  5. LA Times Blog, "Prop. 8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules," February 7, 2012
  6. Dallas Voice, "Court won’t release videos from Prop 8 trial," February 3, 2012
  7. Kleinfeld, Andrew J. (1998-05-22). Memo to the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals. URL accessed on June 21, 2005
  8. History of the Ninth Circuit from the Federal Judicial Center
  9. The Washington Post, "Supreme Court reversals deliver a dressing-down to the liberal 9th Circuit," January 31, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Los Angeles Times, "U.S. Supreme Court again rejects most decisions by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals," July 18, 2011
  11. The New York Times, "'Liberal' Reputation Precedes Ninth Circuit Court," April 24, 2010
  12. 12.0 12.1 Alaska Bar Association, "Breaking up is hard to do," June 2003
  13. Testimony of Circuit Judge Richard Tallman: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States Senate: Committee on the Judiciary, retrieved on November 19, 2007
  14. United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
  15. United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
  16. United States General Services Administration, James R. Browning Official Page
  17. Los Angeles Times, "9th Circuit to allow live video of hearings in major cases," December 2, 2013