FED. R. APP. P. 32.1
February 13, 2006 2:05 PM Subscribe
Proposed Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1. Proposed Rule 32.1 [.pdf] is an attempt to resolve a dispute in federal court practice over the propriety of citations to unpublished opinions. It is an argument that has been played out in academic papers and Circuit Courts. Judge Richard Arnold of the 8th Circuit, writing for the majority, held that local rules which declare that unpublished opinions are not precedent are unconstitutional under Article III. Anastasoff v. United States, 223 F.3d 898, 900(8th Cir. 2000), vacated as moot on reh'g en banc, 235 F.3d 1054 (8th Cir.2000). Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit disagreed, holding that nonprecedential decisions are not inconsistent with the exercise of the judicial power. Hart v. Massanari, 226 F.3d 1155, 1163 (9th Cir. 2001). The proposed Rule would resolve the circuit split, but the debate rages on.
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