Rex Heinke Quoted by Recorder on 9th Circ. Jurists’ Dispute in ERISA Decision

Akin Gump Supreme Court and appellate co-head Rex Heinke was quoted by The Recorder for its article “Kozinski Spars With Colleagues Over ERISA Ruling” on a sharp dissent by 9th Circuit Court Judge Alex Kozinski of that body’s denial of a petition for en banc rehearing in Harris v. Amgen.

Kozinski’s dissent noted, among other criticisms, that the “panel’s reasoning renders meaningless crucial language in Fifth Third, in open disregard for the intent behind the Supreme Court’s GVR [grant, vacate, remand] order.” Although, according to the article, he is known for writing strongly worded criticisms—which he calls “dissentals”—of his colleagues’ en banc denials, this exchange seemed unusually harsh.

Heinke noted that these dissentals are becoming increasingly common in the 9th Circuit and can actually pave the path to the Supreme Court, saying, “It certainly gives you one other thing to point to if you're filing a cert petition.”