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Blog Scan

Ninth Circuit Rules on Second Amendment:  In a post titled, "Second Amendment extended," Lyle Denniston writes on SCOTUSblog that the Ninth Circuit ruled today, in Nordyke v. King, that the Second Amendment's right to "keep and bear arms" is a personal right that applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause.  Denniston reports that Judges Alarc√≥n, O'Scannlain, and Gould concluded that the right, as construed by D.C. v. Heller, limited the right to "armed self-defense" in the home.  The Ninth Circuit's ruling was not quite so narrow.  The panel's decision recognized that the Second Amendment prevents regulation of armed self-defense in the home, and upheld Alameda County's ordinance because "it was not of that ilk" and "regulates gun possession in public places that are County property."  The ordinance makes it a crime to bring onto county property a gun or ammunition, or to possess them on that property.  Eugene Volokh posts on Volokh Conspiracy, that although Alameda County can keep its ordinance, it can still ask the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case en banc to reconsider whether the Second Amendment is incorporated. 

Final Argument Days:  The Legal Times has an article by Tony Mauro discussing the final - and busy- argument cycle of the Supreme Court term.  Mauro writes that during "an intense two-week period" that began today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in cases ranging from search and seizure rights, Iraqi immunity, voting rights, and affirmative action.  Today, the Roberts Court heard arguments in Horne v. Flores, with former SG Kenneth Starr arguing for the Superintendent of Arizona Public Instruction, and Republic of Iraq v. Simon, with Tom Goldstein arguing for Simon, who was kidnapped and tortured by Iraq in 1991.

Expressing Frustration With Obama's Inaction on Torture:  Hat tip to Howard Basham at How Appealing for the link to Andrew Cohen's Courtwatch Op-Ed "Annals of Impeachment:  Oust Bybee?" Cohen's post discusses a New York Times editorial calling for the impeachment of Ninth Circuit Judge Bybee, and expresses Cohen's frustration with the Administration's decision not to take action against the officials who authored the torture memos.  Cohen disagrees with the Times on the impeachment point, but he does believe it is time for the Obama Administration to take a concrete stance on "the Bush administration's (probably) illegal, (apparently) unsuccessful, and (certainly) odious 'enhanced interrogation' rules."  Cohen writes: "The problem here for the Obama Administration - and let's be frank this now is a problem for the administration - is that neither the White House nor the Justice Department seems willing or able to explain or justify the gulf between Attorney General Eric Holder's talk about the government's recommitment to the 'rule of law' and President Barack Obama's talk about the need for 'reflection and not retribution' against former officials who may have broken the law."

Dissenting from En Banc Opinions in The Ninth Circuit
:  At Wall Street Journal Blog, Ashby Jones writes that while President Obama could get the chance to appoint three new judges to the Ninth Circuit, a push to the left may not stop conservative judges from using an effective tool - a dissent from the denial of an en banc hearing.  Conservative judges on the Ninth Circuit have often used the dissent "as a signal flare to the U.S. Supreme Court."  Jones' post discusses an LA Times article by Carol J. Williams, reporting on the sway of conservative judges on the Ninth Circuit.   

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