September 20, 2003


Experts Say Court Panel Is Less Likely to Delay California Vote (ADAM LIPTAK, September 20, 2003, NY Times)

The 11-judge panel that will reconsider the California recall case includes eight appointed by Democratic presidents and just three appointed by Republicans, which at first blush might hearten the civil rights groups that had persuaded three judges, all appointed by Democrats, to delay the election in a decision issued Monday.

But the consensus among legal experts yesterday was that most of the judges on the larger panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, are either aligned with the circuit's more conservative wing or are moderate in the sense of avoiding drastic actions like calling off elections.

"As favorable as the original panel was for the A.C.L.U.," said Vikram Amar, a professor at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, "this is as favorable a panel as you can get for the other side." The A.C.L.U. Foundation of Southern California represents the civil rights groups in their challenge over punch-card voting.

Howard J. Bashman, a specialist in appellate law in Philadelphia, agreed, calling the panel about as conservative as one is likely to find on the Ninth Circuit.

"The panel seems to be much better than the recall proponents could have hoped for," Mr. Bashman said.

So, you know what it's time to to do:


It seems only fitting to top off the electoral festivities in the Golden State with a contest, to see who can best predict the outcome.

Here's the deal:

You pick the %'s of the "Yes" and "No" votes; the % of the vote that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cruz Bustamante will each get; and, as a tie breaker, the % of eligible voters who will turn out on October 7th.

We'll award whoever comes closest a copy of the magnificent new Illustrated version of James M. McPherson's Pulitzer-winning Battle Cry of Freedom and the runner-up a hot--off-the-presses paperback copy of Rick Atkinson's Pulitzer-winning Army at Dawn (both courtesy of our friends at FSB Associates).

Please go to this page to enter your picks.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 20, 2003 8:48 AM

I loved the subhead on the Times article: "Most of the judges that will reconsider the recall case would prefer to avoid drastic actions like calling off elections."

So, there are judges who would prefer drastic actions like calling off elections?

Posted by: David Cohen at September 20, 2003 9:15 AM

David - Empirical evidence has established that yes, that is the case.

Posted by: pj at September 20, 2003 1:59 PM

Here's a prediction for the next lawsuit-- Davis loses the recall but refuses to vacate the office, filing suit to have the results overturned for various specious reasons that the ACLU enthusiastically endorse.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 20, 2003 2:45 PM

If Davis chains himself to his desk, then the proper response would be for Arnold to go in alone and get him out.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 20, 2003 7:53 PM