“The Legal Elephant Parade That Is the Ninth Circuit”
posted by Kyle Graham
In an editorial published yesterday, the Wall Street Journal casually referenced “the legal elephant parade that is the Ninth Circuit.”
Though the Journal gets points for originality, the wittiest critique of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that I’ve heard remains a comment attributed to a district-court judge within the circuit. This judge reported thusly on the status of a decision that had been appealed from his court to the judges above: “I’ve just been affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, but I still think I’m right.”
Interestingly, the quote immediately above seems to have originated with (or at least, been popularized by) Stanley Weigel, a rather liberal, now-deceased Kennedy appointee. More likely than not, to the extent that this comment provides some insight into the thoughts of its speaker, Weigel was lamenting the tendencies of the relatively conservative Ninth Circuit panels of a bygone era.