Thursday, March 19, 2015

Seattle Midwest Awareness v. King County (9th Cir. - March 18, 2015)

I make the odds at roughly 4-1 against an informed observer guessing the votes in advance in this one.

The panel consists of judges Kozinski, Christen, and Watford.  A nonprofit group wants to put an ad on the side of Seattle buses that demonstrates opposition to U.S. funding for Israel.  Seattle doesn't let 'em.  There are lots of different ads on the buses, but there are also some limitations (e.g., no nudity, no tobacco products, etc.).

Does Seattle's decision to not allow the advertisement violate the First Amendment?  Who voted which way?

Thinking.  Thinking.  Thinking.

Here's the answer:

Judge Kozinski:  No First Amendment violation.
Judge Christen:  Violates the First Amendment.
Judge Watford:  No First Amendment violation.

Bonus points if you remembered that Judge Watford clerked for Judge Kozinski.  Not that the guy doesn't have a mind of his own.  But at least in this case, he's on the side of his old boss.