John Balazs is an attorney in Sacramento, California, specializing in criminal defense, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, expungements, and civil forfeiture actions. After graduating from UCLA Law School in 1989, he clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. John was an Assistant Federal Defender in Fresno and Sacramento from 1992-2001. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in clinical trial advocacy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Please email EDCA items of interest to Balazslaw@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter @balazslaw.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated. Do your own research or consult with an attorney.
Appellants filed this motion to stay the mandate pending resolution of their petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court from the Ninth Circuit's ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to the California law banning gay conversion therapy for minors. [UPDATE: The panel today granted the motion to stay the mandate.]
In Pickup v. Brown, 12-17681 & Welch v. Brown, No. 13-15023, the Ninth Circuit today amended its prior opinion and denied rehearing and rehearing en banc. The summary states that "the panel held that California Senate Bill 1172, which bans state-licensed mental health providers from engaging in 'sexual orientation change efforts' with patients under 18 years of age, does not violate the free speech rights of practioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate patients' fundamental rights." Judges O'Scannlain, Bea, and Ikuta dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc on First Amendment grounds.
The audio recording of the Ninth Circuit oral arguments in the two EDCA lawsuits over California's gay conversion therapy ban are available here: Pickup v. Brown, 12-17681, and Welch v. Brown, 13-10523. And here's Howard Mintz's recap in the SV Mercury News, 4/17/13.
On Wednesday, at 9:30 a.m., in courtroom 1 in San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit will hold oral argument in the appeals from the EDCA conflicting orders on California's ban on so-called "gay conversion therapy." The panel is Chief Judge Kozinski, and Ninth Circuit Judges Graber and Christen. See San Jose Mercury News, 4/15/13
A new state law intended to prevent therapists from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation was put on hold Friday by a federal appeals court panel.
The law would subject psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to discipline by their licensing boards for providing minors therapy to change their sexual orientation. The state and many professional groups say the therapy is ineffective and potentially dangerous.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to block the law, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, pending a decision on its constitutionality.
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The judges who are hearing the case are Alfred T. Goodwin, appointed by President Nixon; Edward Leavy, a President Reagan appointee; and Milan D. Smith Jr., named to the court by President George W. Bush.
Staver, calling the preliminary injunction "very welcome news," said it was "never routine" and granted only in extraordinary situations when the court believes an appeal has a "likelihood of success."
UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who believes that the law is constitutional, said its opponents "won this round."
"This doesn't determine the ultimate outcome by the 9th Circuit," the constitutional law expert said. "It still has to rule on the merits, and it could well go to the Supreme Court. But obviously this is a preliminary loss for supporters of the law."
California's ban on trying to change a minor's sexual orientation, the first of its kind in the nation, has divided the lower courts. The federal judge in Sacramento who refused to block the law was appointed by President Obama. She concluded that it did not violate the 1st Amendment. Her colleague on the same bench, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, concluded that it was likely that the law infringed on free speech protections.