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Justice Stevens on the Ninth Circuit:

While chairing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's judicial conference last week, Justice Stevens addressed concerns about the Circuit's apparently high reversal rate at the Supreme Court.

The 9th Circuit's dubious record of a 90 percent reversal rate last session, reversing 19 of 21 cases, is "misleading" and does not reflect where it really stands, Stevens said. He pointed out in the Seattle schools case, Parents United v. Seattle School District, 127 S.Ct. 2738, that the 6th and 1st Circuits had ruled similarly and that three appeals courts ruled the same on so-called partial birth abortion cases, which were later overturned. . . .

As for concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court may be singling out the 9th Circuit for special attention, "Not in my chambers," he said. He could not be as certain whether other justices keep a closer watch on what the 9th Circuit produces.

Gaius Obvious (mail):
In how many of those 19 reversals was Stevens in the minority? Perhaps that's why he is not concerned.
7.25.2007 4:16pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
The naked reversal rate isn't what illustrates the problem with the 9th circuit. It's the frequency of unanimous reversals of the 9th circuit that does so.
7.25.2007 6:48pm