Tuesday, April 03, 2018

R.E.B. v. State of Hawaii DOE (9th Cir. - April 3, 2018)

I imagine that, sometimes, litigants hope that adverse things happen to one or more of the judges that rule against them.  Mostly out of spite.  But sometimes, perhaps, out of more practical desires.

If that's what indeed went down here, perhaps the litigant's prayers were answered.

The panel decides in September to partially reverse the district court.  Judge Bea dissents.  The losing party then files a petition for rehearing.  As well as makes whatever supplications to higher powers that may or may not have transpired.

Then, in December, one of the members of the majority, Judge Kozinski, leaves the Ninth Circuit.  Judge Nguyen is promptly drawn to replace him.

And today, the reconstituted panel grants the petition for rehearing and withdraws the original opinion.

Perhaps the new panel will only tinker with the original opinion.  But I suspect that more than mere tinkering will in fact go down.