United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is one of thirteen federal courts of appeal. It is physically located in San Francisco, and has 28 active judgeships. A 29th seat will be added in January 2009.

The court regularly meets in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Pasadena, 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.

Ballot measure rulings

  • Washington Top Two Primaries, Initiative 872 (2004). The Ninth Circuit agreed with the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian Parties of Washington State that I-872 was unconstitutional. This Ninth Circuit decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. There, the country's highest court overturned the Ninth Circuit, and declared that the "Top Two" primary system approved by Washington's voters in 2004 is constitutional.[1]
  • Dietrich v John Ascuaga’s Nugget. In this November 2008 decision, the Ninth Circuit said that a petitioner can collect signatures on normally public property that is temporarily reserved for a private function.
  • Nader v. Brewer. On July 9, 2008, the Ninth Circuit ruled in this case that Arizona's residency requirements are unconstitutional. The decision was 3-0. Thirteen states, including Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2008, asking the Court to hear Arizona’s appeal on the 9th's decision.[2],[3]
  • Bates v. Jones. In this 1997 decision, an 8-3 majority of the court ruled that the term limits imposed by California Proposition 140 (1990) are constitutional. They also ruled that voters did, in fact, know that they were imposing a lifetime limit on politicians when they approved Proposition 140.
  • California Proposition 209 (1996). The Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court's ruling that California's anti-affirmative-action Proposition 209 was unconstitutional, clearing the way for it to take effect.
  • WIN v. Warheit. In this 2000 case, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a Washington state law requiring extensive disclosure with a state agency of information about petitioners was unconstitutional. WIN v. Warheit is also sometimes referred to as Washington Initiatives Now v. Rippie.
  • Renne v. Geary. In this case, the Ninth Circuit ruled that California Proposition 49 (1986) was unconstitutional. This decision was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on grounds unrelated to constitutionality considerations.[4]
  • A 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit voted on April 2, 2012 to uphold Proposition 209 (1996), the ban on the use of affirmative action by government agencies, including universities.[5]

Appellate jurisdiction

The Ninth Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over these federal district courts:

  • District of Alaska
  • District of Arizona
  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • District of Hawaii
  • District of Idaho
  • District of Montana
  • District of Nevada
  • District of Oregon
  • Eastern District of Washington
  • Western District of Washington

It also has appellate jurisdiction over the following territorial courts:

  • District Court of Guam
  • District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands

External links