Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Moreno v. Baca (9th Cir. - Dec. 9, 2005)

Sometimes it takes time for people to come around. But they occasionally do. As the Ninth Circuit does here.

I strongly criticized the panel opinion when it came out earlier this year (in March), aruging that it stretched both the facts and the law in an attempt to reach a particular result (namely, whether reasonable suspicion is required to search a parolee). I predicted, among other things, that this opinion "was not long for this world," and argued that this was a good thing, since both the majority opinion as well as the concurrence made their authors look pretty bad.

Apparently, in the end, everyone agree with me. Because the panel elected to withdraw the opinion and issue in its place a new one that properly (and, this time, unanimously) resolves the case on narrow, fact-specific grounds. Good job, Judges Tashima, Pregerson, and Clifton. Belated. Very. But good. The earlier opinions were not your finest hours.