Fun With Numbers (9th Circuit Edition)
- SCOTUS released 84 opinions this term. 26 of these, or 30%, arose from the 9th Circuit. 18 of these were reversed. (To be fair, that's not so bad. SCOTUS doesn't grant cert. because it wants to affirm. I've heard that the last 17 cases from the Sixth Circuit have been reversed.)
- What about the circuit's liberal bad boy, Stephen Reinhardt? He was on the panel of 6 cases and wrote the majority opinion on 3. The Supreme Court reversed all 6.
- Actually, all 3 majority decisions written by Judge Reinhardt were reversed unanimously. Of the 3 others, 1 was reversed unanimously and 2 were reversed by a 5-4 (conservative) split.
- Judge Bybee--Judge Reinhardt's ideological opposite--was on the panel on 2 of the 3 cases where Reinhardt wrote the court's opinion and dissented in both. The Supreme Court did not grant certiorari on any case in which Judge Reinhardt wrote a dissenting opinion.
- 7 of the cases where the Supreme Court granted certiorari contained dissenting opinions: 2 by Judge Bybee, 2 by Judge Kozinski, and 1 each by Judges Bea, Ikuta, W. Fletcher, and Cudahy (7th Cir.). (Judges Ikuta and Kozinski both wrote dissents on the same en banc case.) With the exception of Judges Fletcher and Cudahy, those are all "conservative" judges.
Is it unseemly to point out Judge Reinhardt's reversals--without name-hiding asterisks, no less? After all, he was on the panel in Plata v. Brown, the controversial California prison decision that the Supreme Court affirmed. But technically, the Supreme Court was reviewing a decision of a 3-judge district court panel, not a 9th Circuit opinion. And besides, Judge Reinhardt has apparently