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Transgender individuals who serve in the military or seek to do so, joined by the State of Washington, filed suit alleging that the August 2017 Memorandum, implementing President Trump's Twitter announcement that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the military, unconstitutionally discriminated against transgender individuals. The district court issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the 2017 Memorandum and defendants appealed. In the meantime, the then-Secretary of Defense studied the issue and produced a report recommending that the President revoke the 2017 Memorandum in order to adopt the report's recommendation. The President revoked the 2017 Memorandum and authorized the Secretary to implement the policies in the report (the 2018 Policy). Defendants then requested that the district court resolve the preliminary injunction on the basis of the new 2018 Policy. The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's order striking defendants' motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction and remanded to the district court for reconsideration. In light of the Supreme Court's January 22, 2019 stay of the district court's preliminary injunction, the panel stayed the preliminary injunction through the district court's further consideration of defendants' motion to dissolve the injunction. Furthermore, the panel issued a writ of mandamus vacating the district court's discovery order and directing the district court to reconsider discovery by giving careful consideration to executive branch privileges as set forth in Cheney v. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367 (2004), and FTC v. Warner Communications Inc., 742 F.2d 1156 (9th Cir. 1984). View "Karnoski v. Trump" on Justia Law

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ICE agents were not permitted to carry out preplanned mass detentions, interrogations, and arrests at a factory, without individualized reasonable suspicion. The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal against petitioner and dismissal of his appeal. The panel rejected the government's argument that the evidence was sufficient to prove that petitioner's removability was not suppressible. On the merits, the panel held that petitioner's seizure was not a justified detention under Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981), which held that a warrant to search for contraband founded on probable cause implicitly carries with it the limited authority to detain the occupants of the premises while a proper search is conducted. The panel held that Summers' categorical authority to detain incident to the execution of a search warrant does not extend to a preexisting plan whose central purpose is to detain, interrogate, and arrest a large number of individuals without individualized reasonable suspicion. Therefore, the agents violated 8 C.F.R. 287.8(b)(2) by detaining and questioning petitioner, and petitioner was entitled to suppression of the evidence gathered as a result of that violation. Finally, the panel held that the proceedings against petitioner should be terminated without prejudice. View "Perez Cruz v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Plaintiff alleged that Facebook used automated telephone dialing systems (ATDS) to alert users, as a security precaution, when their account was accessed from an unrecognized device or browser. However, plaintiff was not a Facebook customer and his repeated attempts to terminate the alerts were unsuccessful. The panel held that plaintiff's allegations under the Act were sufficient to withstand Facebook's motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In this case, the messages plaintiff received were automated, unsolicited, and unwanted. As to the constitutional issue, the panel joined the Fourth Circuit and held that a 2015 amendment to the Act, excepting calls "made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States," was content-based and incompatible with the First Amendment. The panel severed the newly appended "debt-collection exception" as an unconstitutional restriction on speech. Therefore, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Duguid v. Facebook, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit filed an order withdrawing the original opinion and issued a new opinion affirming the district court's denial of petitioner's habeas corpus petition challenging his capital sentence for two first-degree murders. The panel held that petitioner was not entitled to relief on his Eighth Amendment claim against arbitrary and capricious sentencing, because he could not show that the jury's consideration of the facts that he poisoned a witness's dogs and threatened her property had a substantial and injurious effect on the jury's decision to impose the death penalty. The panel also held that petitioner has not presented clear and convincing evidence to rebut the California Supreme Court's finding that he validly waived his state habeas exhaustion petition. View "Kirkpatrick v. Chappell" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment granting petitioner habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, based on his challenge to the trial court's grant of a mistrial. In this case, after the jury reached a verdict but before the verdict was announced, the jurors expressed concern for their safety because of a scary-looking man in the courtroom. The panel held that the district court correctly held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine was inapplicable in section 2241 petitions. On the merits, the panel held that the district court did not err in concluding that retrying defendant would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause, because the trial court erred in concluding that there was manifest necessity for a mistrial. Even under a more deferential standard, the trial court's manifest necessity determination was erroneous because the trial court failed to provide any meaningful consideration of alternatives to mistrial. View "Gouveia v. Espinda" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of claims brought by DaVinci, alleging conversion and other common law torts against the United States and several U.S. Air Force employees. In 2014, the Air Force agents seized ten military GPS antennas from DaVinci, allegedly under the guise of the Espionage Act. DaVinci sought damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). DaVinci alleged abuse of process and conversion claims, arguing that the United States conspired to fraudulently and wrongfully coerce DaVinci to surrender the antennas without due process or just compensation. The panel held that the abuse of process claim was barred by section 2680(c) of the FTCA, because the antennas were not seized "solely" for the purpose of forfeiture. Likewise, the conversion claim failed because it was based on the allegedly illegal seizure of goods. The panel held that DaVinci could proceed in the Court of Federal Claims under the Tucker Act through a takings claim under the Fifth Amendment. In regard to DaVinci's claims against individual defendants, the panel held that DaVinci voluntarily dismissed the case against three individuals and never amended the complaint to include any others. Furthermore, DaVinci's claims against the individual defendants were not part of this appeal. Finally, the district court properly dismissed the Bivens claim against the United States, as the only remaining defendant, based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. View "DaVinci Aircraft, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's determination that petitioner was removable as an immigrant who at the time of application for admission lacked a valid entry document under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), and that she was ineligible for cancellation of removal. The panel followed its binding precedent in Minto v. Sessions, 854 F.3d 619 (9th Cir. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 1261 (2018), and Eche v. Holder, 694 F.3d 1026 (9th Cir. 2012), holding that substantial evidence supported the BIA's decision. In Minto, the panel held that although Congress's two-year reprieve protected immigrants like petitioner from removability under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)(i) on the basis that they had not been admitted or paroled into the United States, it did not exempt them from removal based on other grounds of removability. Therefore, the panel held that reprieve did not offer petitioner protection from the charge that she was an immigrant who at the time of application for admission lacked a valid entry document. The panel also held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that petition failed to establish the ten years of continuous presence in the United States required for cancellation of removal. Finally, the panel lacked jurisdiction to consider petitioner's request to remand. View "Torres v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed defendant's conviction and sentence for armed bank robbery, holding that his inadvertent placement of a pocket knife on the bank's counter while pulling a plastic bag out of his pocket did not put in jeopardy the life of any person by the use of a dangerous weapon. The panel held that the district court committed plain error in accepting defendant's guilty plea without a sufficient factual basis, and the error affected defendant's substantial rights where it was reasonably probable that he would not have pleaded guilty but for the error. View "United States v. Bain" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of an action brought by airline pilots, seeking damages under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Plaintiffs alleged that their employer colluded with a union in the union's breach of its duty of fair representation. The panel held that, under the RLA, employees can hold their union liable for breaching its duty of fair representation during collective bargaining. The panel held, however, that the RLA does not support the imposition of liability on an employer solely for its "collusion" in the union's breach of duty. In this case, plaintiffs did not claim that their employer breached its own obligations under a collective bargaining agreement. Rather, the only identifiable breach in this case was USAPA's breach of its duty of fair representation. View "Beckington v. American Airlines, Inc." on Justia Law

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A guilty plea made in exchange for leniency to a third party is involuntarily made if the government lacked probable cause to prosecute the third party at the time of the guilty plea. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a 28 U.S.C. 255 motion to vacate defendant's guilty plea and set aside his misdemeanor conviction stemming from the operation of an unlawful sports betting operation. The panel held that the Government had probable cause to prosecute defendant's son at the time of defendant's plea, and therefore rejected defendant's claim that defendant's guilty plea was involuntary because it was improperly conditioned on leniency for the son. The panel also rejected defendant's claim of government misconduct and held that defendant was aware of the Government's misconduct at the time of his plea but nonetheless pleaded guilty. View "United States v. Seng Chen Yong" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law