Monday, September 12, 2016

Notoriously liberal '9th Circuit' is growing more centrist

That's according to this LA Times op-ed here by Ben Feuer, which concludes:
Image result for help mom the ninth circuit nabbed the nativity
Help! Mom! The Ninth Circuit Nabbed the Nativity!
     But whereas the Carter judges reliably took left-leaning positions, the Obama judges are less predictable. That’s a big difference given the 9th Circuit’s mythic liberality. Yes, it still has more of its rulings overturned by the Supreme Court than other circuit courts, but that isn’t because of an extreme political bent; rather, it’s because of the large number of cases the court hears and the willingness of states within its jurisdiction to experiment with novel laws. The 9th isn’t such an outlier any more either: The 11th Circuit, based in Georgia, is now more heavily Democratic. The 4th Circuit, based in Virginia, has further left-leaning Obama appointees.
     Ultimately, because the 9th Circuit has grown more centrist, it’s the next president’s picks that could have an outsized effect. A slew of strong conservative or liberal appointees could noticeably move the court’s political median and renew existential battles over its future. But for now, the 9th Circuit can take a well-deserved breather from its three-ring reputation.