In the last two weeks, the Ninth Circuit has granted rehearing en banc in two criminal cases. Edwards v. LaMarque is an ineffective assistance case. Here are the panel decision and the order granting rehearing. United States v. Curtin involves a pedophile who trolls chat rooms looking for young girls and had pedophilia literature on his PDA when he got caught. The issue is the admissibility of that literature. Here are the opinion and the rehearing order.
What is remarkable here is that the rehearing petitions were both filed by the prosecution after the defendant prevailed before the panel. We have seen so many cases where the Ninth denies rehearing even when a panel decision is patently wrong (see, e.g., Belmontes and Musladin, discussed here), that many prosecutors have decided that even petitioning for rehearing en banc is hopeless and gone straight to certiorari from the Supreme Court.
Could it be that, with the recent appointments, People of Sense now constitute a majority on the Ninth Circuit? That may be too much to hope for, and maybe I am grasping at straws. After decades of darkness, though, it is tempting to see any ray of light as the breaking of the long-overdue dawn.