Thursday, February 12, 2009

Musladin v. Lamarque (9th Cir. - Feb. 12, 2009)

Let me put today's 35-page (single-spaced) opinion from the Ninth Circuit a slightly different way than Judge Berzon does:

"We previously granted relief to this habeas petitioner because some spectators at his trial had worn prominent inflammatory buttons. But the Supreme Court took the case up and although we had some marginal degree of support in some of the concurring opinions, none of the justices went our way. So if we can't get a single vote in the Supreme Court on what we thought was petitioner's strongest claims, we aren't going to be able to do much for you on your subsidiary claims either. Sorry. It's not for a lack of trying. The district court's denial of your habeas opinion is affirmed."

POSTSCRIPT - I wish I could say more today, but with only one actual opinion from the Ninth Circuit and with the state courts closed for Lincoln's Birthday, that'll do it. Hopefully everyone's merely bulking up for Friday. For anyone who still has a job, anyway, after today's law firm carnage.