Sidelined, thank God

As Trunk says, the key to the outcome of the Ninth Circuit’s reconsideration of the recall vote decision is the identity of the court members who will decide the case. In this regard, my friend Craig Harrison tells me that three judges have recused (disqualified) themselves. They are all Clinton appointees — Kim McLane Wardlaw, Stephen Reinhardt, and Marsha S. Berzon. The notoriously left-wing Reinhardt is possibly the worst federal appellate judge in the country.
BIG TRUNK adds: Hugh Hewitt succinctly sums up the situation: “[T]he draw will determine whether or not the ruling is overturned. Of the 23 judges eligible to fill the 10 seats available on the en banc panel (the Chief Judge is an automatic), 14 have been appointed by Democratic presidents, and 3 of those 14 signed the original opinion. So it is an uphill battle for the circuit to save its own reputation. At least 13 of the judges appear to realize that the opinion was an occasion of widespread laughter, and these jurists also probably suspect that if they don’t fix this situation, the Supreme Court will.”
Howard Bashman provides the key information: “According to a reliable source, reargument en banc will occur next Monday at 1:00 p.m. local time in San Francisco, and each side will receive thirty minutes for oral argument. The eleven-judge panel will consist of Chief Judge Schroeder and Circuit Judges Kozinski, O’Scannlain, Kleinfeld, Tashima, Silverman, Graber, McKeown, Gould, Tallman, and Rawlinson. This is about as conservative of an en banc panel as one is likely to see from the Ninth Circuit, and it is also noteworthy that none of the members of the original three-judge panel that issued the decision to postpone California’s recall election was selected to serve on the en banc panel.”


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