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Looking Back at 2014: The 10 Most Popular Posts From the 9th Cir.

By William Peacock, Esq. on December 19, 2014 9:52 AM

I love the Ninth Circuit. In 2014, there was not a more interesting or unpredictable docket on the planet. The Ninth Circuit dealt with many hot-button issues such as concealed carry, free speech on YouTube, and the Hobby Lobby fallout.

What did you find most interesting? Our 10 most popular posts covered all of the above topics, plus judicial gossip, nominations, and more:

  1. Uh, What? 9th Circuit Strikes Cal. Concealed Carry Restrictions -- Yeah. Weird, right? The most liberal circuit in America struck down the most liberal state's ridiculously arbitrary concealed carry regimen. "Keep and bear" arms are two separate rights, apparently.
  2. Can Religious Pharmacists Refuse to Stock Plan B Pills? -- Hobby Lobby said that corporations could take on the religious rights and beliefs of their owners. Does that logic extend to pharmacists who refuse to stock and sell Plan B pills? It certainly would seem to....
  3. FBI Agents Cut DSL, Posed as Repairmen to Conduct Search: Motion -- Impressive deception: The FBI took down the defendants' Internet connection, waited for them to call repairmen, and then went into their house undercover. Was it legal?
  4. SCOTUS Starts Bullying Early, Reverses 9th in Habeas Appeal -- The Ninth Circuit gets reversed all the time. But this time, the High Court, on one of the first days of the term, swatted a habeas case back to the Ninth without so much as hearing oral arguments.
  5. One-Word Mistake by Judge Nixes Conviction, 50-Year Sentence -- One word. One word uttered by the judge at the beginning of the trial, before anything else was said. Despite curative instructions, at least one juror claimed that the damage had been done.
  6. (Judge) John Owens Confirmed for 9th Circuit Bench -- Owens was confirmed to the bench after a 10-year-long dispute over the seat -- was it a California or Idaho seat? Owens is from California. The former occupant started in California, then moved to the countryside.
  7. 9th Kills Free Speech Twice: First T-Shirts, Then YouTube? -- Both of these were stupid decisions. One allowed the heckler's veto -- a school prohibiting students from wearing American flag T-shirts because it upset other students. The other allowed an actress to assert a copyright interest in her appearance in a film and force its removal from YouTube.
  8. California Attorney General Harris Seeking to Appeal Concealed Carry -- Not yet a party to the case, the State of California tried to jump into the case. So far, not so good, but it is still an ongoing battle over whether the entire court will hear the big California concealed carry fight.
  9. Letter Besmirching Kozinski Asks: Can a Chief Judge Be a Litigant? -- A strange mystery man sent me a letter besmirching the now-former-Chief Justice Judge Alex Kozinski. We reviewed the salacious allegations contained therein, with as little mockery as possible.
  10. 9th Circuit En Banc Panel May Hear YouTube, Concealed Carry Cases -- And we're back to guns and free speech. Heck yes, America! In 2014, the court released two very controversial opinions: one forcing Google to take down a video off of YouTube and a second forcing California to allow concealed or open carry of firearms in public. The former just had oral arguments before an en banc panel, while the decision on whether to review the firearms decision is still pending. Considering that this was the most popular post of the year, we're going to guess that you're as intrigued as we are. We'll keep you posted.

What was your Ninth Circuit story of the year? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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