Veggie Marks

The Ninth Circuit upheld a ruling against a company that sells T-shirts and other products with its registered mark “LETTUCE TURNIP THE BEET” in its dispute against another company that it claimed sold products containing the same words and design. The court found the plaintiff’s marks don’t act as trademarks “because they are aesthetic only and do not identify the source of the goods.”

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Protected Speech

The Ninth Circuit ruled a lower court improperly denied an immigrant’s habeas petition, which argued that his arrest and re-detention was “retaliation for his protected speech.” The immigrant was re-arrested less than 36 hours after he read a poem that criticized Immigration and Customs Enforcement practices. The government has the burden to show that it “would have taken the same action even in the absence of the protected conduct.”

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Feds Lobby Ninth Circuit to Lift Barrier to Ban on China’s WeChat

An attorney for users of Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat told a Ninth Circuit panel Thursday the Trump administration sought to unlawfully ban the app and should be blocked from ever doing so because it never intended to address purported concerns about Beijing-directed espionage.

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Church Asks Ninth Circuit to Lift California’s Ban on Indoor Worship

A Ninth Circuit judge expressed concern Monday that California’s effort to curb Covid-19 transmission by banning all indoor religious gatherings could extend into the summer months or beyond if the pandemic worsens, further restricting people’s constitutional right to practice their religion.

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Feds Can’t Back Out of Landmark Deal Protecting Immigrant Children

The Trump administration failed to satisfy the requirements of a landmark settlement when it sought to impose new rules governing the detention and release of immigrant children in federal custody and therefore cannot terminate the agreement, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled Tuesday.

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Church Services

In a partial dissent of a briefing schedule order, Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain objects to the court’s failure to accommodate Harvest Rock Church’s request for relief from California’s Covid-19 restrictions on indoor worship services by Dec. 24. O’Scannlain said the court should have “granted the church at least the temporary relief it needs to ensure that its members can exercise freely the fundamental right to practice their Christian religion on one of the most sacred Christian days of the year.”

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Models

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of supermodel Janice Dickinson’s Lanham Act and state law claims brought against Ryan Seacrest’s company relating to her portrayal in the reality television series “Shahs of Sunset.” Dickinson, who says she did not consent to appear in the episode, claims Seacrest Productions and others “conspired to script” a false controversy in which she was accused of stealing an outfit a cast member was supposed to wear in a runway show.

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