Thursday, November 07, 2019

Board of Trustees v. Chambers (9th Cir. - Nov. 7, 2019)

The Ninth Circuit has only published a couple of opinions in all of November, but the opinion today is a memorable one, if only for its brevity.  The split panel opinion (a year ago) was 64 single-spaced pages, and waxed poetically about whether the voluntary cessation doctrine of mootness applied to cases in which the government lost a lawsuit, repealed the relevant statute, and refused to promise that it wouldn't reenact the thing.

But you'll be hard-pressed to find a shorter en banc opinion than the one issued today, which resolves the dispute (1) unanimously, and (2) in well under a dozen pages.  (Indeed, a full half of the opinion consists entirety of the caption and list of lawyers and amici.)  The en banc court says, basically, that other circuits have found that mootness applies in situations like these, so we're going to join them. Notwithstanding the contrary view of the majority in the panel decision we're reversing.

So short.  And (relatively) speedy.  Though I'll note that it still took the en banc court nearly five months two write its five-and-a-half pages of text.