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Friday, September 19, 2003


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is going to "re-hear" on Monday afternoon the California recall election debacle. And two of the 11 judges on the expanded "en banc" panel are from here in Portland. They're Susan Graber, a former colleague of mine in law practice, and Diarmuid O'Scannlain, who serves as an adjunct professor at the law school at which I teach.

Both work out of the Pioneer Courthouse, and are looking forward to making a left turn off Morrison Street to park in the building some day. But for this oral argument, they'll be flying down to San Francisco.

Graber is a pal of Hillary and a Clinton appointee; O'Scannlain, a staunch Republican (former state GOP chair), appointed by the Gipper. It's no mystery how one might expect them to vote -- the smart money says they'll cancel each other out. So I'm betting Oregon won't have much of an influence over the outcome of the Saga to the South.

Of the 11 judges chosen by lot for the rehearing, seven were appointed by Clinton and one by Carter. This suggests that they'll further rub the Supreme Court's noses in Bush v. Gore, but with this wacky story, certainly anything's possible. Indeed, Howard Bashman and his sources are noting that as Ninth Circuit Democrats go, some of these eight aren't all that lefty.

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