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L.A. Police Union Assails U.S. Appeals Court

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Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 7:30 AM

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The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing rank-and-file Los Angeles Police Department officers, is on a tear against the U.S. 9th Circuit court of appeals, which this week overturned one state's ban on voting rights for felons.

The 2-1 decision Tuesday was made in the interest of minorities who, the appeals panel argued, already face discrimination in the Washington state courts. " ... According to the 9th Circuit, the criminal justice system in Washington discriminates against minorities at every level of the criminal justice system," the LAPPL states. It calls the ruling "outrageous" and argues that it could provide precedent for overturning voting bans for felons in other states, bans that it notes have been supported by other courts.

Last month the 9th Circuit court issued a ruling that could severely limit cops' use of Tasers, arguing that the weapons should only be employed when an officer is under attack (not, for example, when a suspect is simply resisting orders, a common reason authorities use the "less-than-lethal" weapons). That decision also infuriated the LAPPL.

The union has reserved particular ire for 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, stating "Reinhardt's name attached to any ruling is a red flag indicator that legal analysis is lacking."

The state of Washington has expressed its determination to appeal the ruling on voting to the U.S. Supreme court.

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