When the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2011 charge of obstruction of justice against Barry Bonds on Wednesday its lone dissenting justice, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson, went down swinging.
Rawlinson not only classified her three dissenting points against the concurring opinions as strike one, strike two and strike three, but she also opened the opinion with a memorable Casey at the Bat reference:
“There is no joy in this dissenting judge. The per curiam and concurring opinions have struck out."
(h/t Buzzfeed for bringing this and the 11-member panel's entire 75-page decision to our attention)
Rawlinson even concluded the opinion with her “final pitch.”
In my view, the per curiam and concurring opinions impermissibly second-guess the jury verdict, disregard our precedent, create an unwarranted circuit split and import inapplicable principles from Bronston into the obstruction of justice analysis. I cry foul.
While we'll remain impartial as to whether the 11-member appellate panel decided justly or unjustly on Wednesday, we feel confident Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson hit a home run.
- Will Green