Monday, August 10, 2015

Madrigal-Barcenas v. Lynch (9th Cir. - Aug. 10, 2015)

The next time someone tells you how the Ninth Circuit is so out of step with the Supreme Court, agree with them.  And mention this case.

Five times the Ninth Circuit held that an alien convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia under state law was ineligible for relief from deportation.  This has been the law of the circuit for at least fifteen years.

The matter eventually goes up to the Supreme Court.  Which concludes otherwise.  In a 7-2 opinion, with only Justices Thomas and Alito dissenting.

So this morning, pursuant to a GVR from the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit overrules its prior precedent.  Consistent with what's required by the new Supreme Court opinion.

So, yeah, sometimes the Ninth Circuit is out of step.  But sometimes it's out of step in a way that's to the right of the Supreme Court.

Not always to the left.