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Challenge to Arizona's Felon Disenfranchisement Scheme Rejected

By FindLaw Staff on May 27, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019
Plus Decisions Involving Indian Tribes' Fishing Rights, Sentencing, and Age Discrimination Case

Harvey v. Brewer, No. 08-17253, concerned actions challenging Arizona's felon disenfranchisement scheme.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the action, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment permits states to disenfranchise felons, regardless of whether their offenses were recognized as felonies at common law, and requiring felons to satisfy the terms of their sentences before restoring their voting rights was rationally related to a legitimate state interest, and does not violate any of the various constitutional provisions plaintiffs rely upon.

US v. Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Res., No. 08-35961, involved an appeal by Indian tribes of the district court's finding that they shared joint fishing rights with another tribe at the "Wenatshapam Fishery" on Icicle Creek -- a tributary to the Wenatchee River which flows into the Columbia River -- under an 1894 agreement between the U.S. and the Yakama tribe.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court's ruling was supported by historical evidence establishing that it was the intent of the 1894 negotiators to grant the Wenatchi fishing rights at Wenatshapam, that the Yakama did not sell all of their fishing rights at Wenatshapam, and that both tribes' fishing rights were non-exclusive.

In US v. Blinkinsop, No. 09-30120, the court of appeals affirmed in part defendant's sentence for receiving child pornography, on the grounds that 1) the sentencing judge did not plainly err in carefully calculating defendant's imprisonment term at the lowest end of the Guidelines range; 2) the district judge considered the 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) factors and the totality of circumstances supporting defendant's sentence; and 3) the large number of images stored on defendant's computer and storage equipment made it reasonable to anticipate that, even if he has not engaged in covert photography yet, he might do so in the future.  However, the court vacated in part, on the grounds that 1) the district court needed to consider whether a special condition of defendant's supervised release, regarding defendant's proximity to places frequented by children during his 5-year term of supervised release, was overbroad in view of his conviction for receiving a considerable amount of child pornography yet desiring to attend school events involving his children and whether it could be revised to accommodate defendant, while complying with the goals of supervised release; and 2) banning defendant's Internet usage contravened United States v. Riley, 576 F.3d 1046, 1050 (9th Cir. 2009).

Carver v. Holder, No. 09-35084, involved an action to enforce the EEOC's determination that the Department of Justice (DOJ) discriminated against plaintiff based on his age, claiming that plaintiff was entitled to more relief than the district court previously awarded him --- i.e., both the leave awarded to him at his other jobs and the leave that would have accrued had he been re-employed by the DOJ.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that plaintiff could not parse his action to increase the remedy without relitigating the liability issue in pursuing his claim in federal court.

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