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View Full Version : Correction - Nordyke not Worthless - Not Dicta


MindBuilder
04-25-2009, 11:50 AM
In the thread "Is Nordyke's holding really dicta" pguevara cited a Ninth Circuit en-banc decision that seems to make clear that Nordyke will not be considered dicta.

In US v Johnson (http://openjurist.org/256/f3d/895/united-states-of-america-v-michael-johnson) the court held in part:
Judge Tashima's concurrence raises a fundamental question concerning the development of our circuit law: To what extent is a later panel bound by statements of law contained in opinions of an earlier panel? Judge Tashima would hold that a later panel is free to ignore statements in an earlier opinion--even statements supported by reasoned analysis--if the later panel concludes that the earlier ruling is not necessary to the result reached. Judge Tashima is not the first member of our court to take this position. See, e.g., United States v. Enas, 204 F.3d 915, 920 (9th Cir. 2000) (dismissing the legal analysis of an earlier panel as "not necessary to the court's decision"), reh'g en banc granted, 219 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 2000). For the reasons explained below, we reject this approach. We hold, instead, that where a panel confronts an issue germane to the eventual resolution of the case, and resolves it after reasoned consideration in a published opinion, that ruling becomes the law of the circuit, regardless of whether doing so is necessary in some strict logical sense.

Unfortunately it is also pointed out in that thread that state courts don't consider federal court opinions binding. Nevertheless I now think that the likelihood that this case will be respected as solid precedent is high enough to consider this Nordyke decision a strong victory.

CCWFacts
04-25-2009, 3:10 PM
Cool, that seems to clearly answer it. I was accepting the opinions of the attorneys here, even though I didn't understand. If the procedural issue sunk the Nordykes, I didn't see why the 2A was logically relevant. I mean, think of it, they Nordykes lost the suit, so how could their arguments create binding precedent?

But that quote you post there makes it clear: it doesn't need to be necessary to the outcome in a strict logical sense for it to be binding precedent.

GunSlinga
04-25-2009, 5:17 PM
Glad you started this thread, MindBuilder.

I'm the guy who accidentally started the parallel thread on whether Nordyke was dicta, and at first I regretted having done that, but since the Johnson case came out of it (which is great) I feel better.

So two threads are better than one...

And Nordyke is still the best PHD (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2375896&postcount=140) so far.

BigDogatPlay
04-25-2009, 7:39 PM
Unfortunately it is also pointed out in that thread that state courts don't consider federal court opinions binding. Nevertheless I now think that the likelihood that this case will be respected as solid precedent is high enough to consider this Nordyke decision a strong victory.

California's Superior and Appellate courts can ignore it all they want to. They are going to have a serious problem defending their actions on a civil rights violation / appeal.

This is a very much a solid victory for not just California but all the states in the circuit... which includes Hawaii, home of gun laws nearly as ridiculous as California's.

:)