The Slatest

Trump Is Whining About the 9th Circuit’s Overturn Rate, But the Most-Overturned Circuits Are in Trump Country

Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday.

Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump is upset that a federal district judge in northern California ruled Tuesday that his threat to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” is unconstitutional. He has expressed his displeasure thusly:

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Among the problems with Trump’s analysis that others have already noted:

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  • The judge that ruled against the administration Tuesday is a district court judge. The reversal rate statistics Trump is citing regard the decisions of appellate circuit courts, not district courts.
  • There wasn’t any “forum shopping” taking place. The plaintiffs were the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, which brought the case in their own district court.

The “80 percent” figure, moreover is highly misleading because it only covers the cases that the Supreme Court chooses to review in the first place. That’s a tiny portion of cases—overall, less than 1 percent of decisions that the 9th Circuit (and every other circuit) makes are overturned. Moreover, the 9th Circuit’s SCOTUS overturn rate—which from 2010-2015, Politifact found, was 79 percent—is not appreciably higher than the overall SCOTUS overturn rate for all circuits, which is 70 percent. And the icing on the cake is that there are actually two circuits with a higher SCOTUS overturn rate than the 9th: The 6th and 11th, which respectively cover the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee and Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. All of those states went for Trump in 2016.

When will someone do something about these constantly overturned activist judges from the Rust Belt and South???

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