Glick v. Edwards, No. 13-35230 (9th Cir. Oct. 7, 2015).
This opinion opens with a story:
The point of the story is that, under the “rule of necessity,” judges must sometimes judge their own case. That is what happened here.
The plaintiff, Ron Glick, alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy to violate his constitutional rights—a conspiracy that he says involved all of the district and magistrate judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. He brought these allegations in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The magistrate and district judge who dismissed Glick’s case didn’t recuse themselves.
The Ninth Circuit now affirms these judges’ decision to hear Glick’s case. Perhaps a judge from another district could have heard the case, but the rule of necessity isn’t a rule of impossibility. A vexatious litigant can’t be allowed to tie the judiciary in knots simply by suing all the judges in the district and then filing a case there.