Here's the Order:
Before: LEAVY, THOMAS, and CHRISEN, Circuit Judges.Looks to us like the Ninth sidestepped the issue. They are affirming the lower court's decision to dismiss, implying the Justices are immune from suit. Even when there are no monetary damages.
A review of the record and the response to the January 11, 2012 order to show cause indicates that the questions raised in this appeal are so insubstantial as not to require further argument. See United States v. Hooton, 693 F.2d 857, 858 (9th Cir. 1982) (per curiam) (stating standard).
Accordingly, we summarily affirm the district court's judgment.
The Motions Panel said "the questions raised in this appeal are so insubstantial as not to require further argument." They cite an early case about this, where some prisoner filed an appeal to reduce his sentence, which wasn't an appropriate appeal.
But the Order to Show cause was supposed to narrowly focus only on the question of whether the Arizona Supreme Court Justices had absolute immunity from suit when no money is involved. (The WSJ reported last week about Delaware judges being sued in federal court. Immunity wasn't an raised there.) The Motions Panel didn't rule on immunity per se. There were no other questions "on appeal." The case hadn't gotten that
Ironically, this was a case of first impression. It is not insubstantial, by definition. Looks like they don't want to deal with it. (Usually the court will take a few pages to tell you why you're so wrong. We figure here, as with the prejudiced Judge Snow's Pontius Pilate-like three sentence ruling, that when they don't take the time to tell you why you're wrong, you're probably right.)
The upshot is that the Arizona Supreme Court justices can make up whatever law they want (by promulgating an internal rule of procedure as law) and it can't be challenged.
Funny how the Ninth will take time to rule on Michael Newdow's "under God" suits, but not a Second Amendment constitutional issue.
If you prayed, thanks for your prayers. We think our country is reaping what we've sown.
If our blogger can figure out if he's allowed to do it and how, he may file to have the entire Ninth circuit weight in on this matter.