Friday, February 17, 2012

California Weird

Did you hear? I don't know how closely you all follow the Prop 8 stuff in California, but last week it was deemed unconstitutional by the 9th District Court, which wasn't a surprise at all. know what is surprising? The 9th District Court had an reversal/vacate rate of 88% in 2009, 79% in 2010, and over the last 10 years, that rate has averaged about 81%. Do you realize what that means? 81% of the time a higher court chooses to either reverse or vacate the decision that was made by the 9th Court. It's the highest reversal/vacate rate in the nation, and with Prop 8, everyone pretty much knew that it was going to go that way. But what does that mean for the credibility of that court's decisions? The Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with it almost all of the time, so are they the ones that are wrong? I guess the SCOTUS has leaned a little more conservative over the last decade, but still, not that far off. That's quite extreme.

And in other news that was tossed around heavily on Facebook, fines can be given to those throwing frisbees or footballs on California beaches. Someone mentioned no digging holes either. So basically treat the beach like a cemetery and no doing beach things at the beach. Thankfully that's only in LA county at the moment and I've actually never even been up to any of those for actual beach time. Phew.

I just don't understand that state. I love it to death, but I hate it at the same time.


Shelli said...

What is the reason for no footballs and frisbees? Really?

Silvs said...

I think it has mostly to do with the possibility that other people can be hit by them. Same with holes at the beach. People could fall into them. Our litigiousness is at fault. But mostly it's like, oh, you can't play nice? Fine! No one can!

Dave said...

Your outrage, while justified, may be slightly distorted. The Supreme Court is a court of limited jurisdiction, so it does not have to hear any case it does not want to hear. Accordingly, the SCOTUS rarely will take a case it clearly agrees with unless it is something other jurisdictions are also wanting clarified by an affirmative upholding. Additionally, the 9th Circuit is the chosen venue for a wide variety of controversial legal issues due to the favorable litigation environment so it would also follow that more controversial decisions would be made and need clarification from the SCOTUS.

Silvs said...

Thanks for the clarification, Dave. Although, I'd object to classifying my comments in this post as outrage. I don't think anything I wrote was very emotionally based. Just commenting, really, although I do think it is a bit strange.

I bothered to look up reversal rates for other appellate courts and the 9th District actually is second only to the Federal Circuit court, 80% v. 83%. In the paper found herehere published through the American Bar Association, the 9th District still receives the lowest grade based on the reversal/vacate rate criterion, next to the Federal Circuit court. The median rate of reversal for all appellate courts is 68.9%, and although I can't say for sure since I don't know the other numbers, that 80% does look to be far enough away to be an outlier from the rest of the district courts. But your clarification about the types of cases it receives helps shed some light on why that may be the case. Although the causation is unclear on why that court gets more cases, the correlation is high enough that it does give some reason for some concern.

kent said...

I'm just now reading your post so you my comment may be irrelevant at this point. But you shouldn't hate CA, at least not for the beach reason. There are plenty of reasons to hate it, but the beach issue was blown way out of context. It was actually prohibited to throw a football or a frisbee on the beach. Now it is just a fine. And it is a fine that will never be enforced, just like how most parks prohibit dogs but never enforce that law. This was just a misunderstanding of the County law and that they were reducing the potential penalties and actually making the law more relaxed. But again, people didn't realize or read the history of the law (because doing so would be boring) and with the 24 hr news cycle/facebook/twitter something was made out of nothing.