Skip to comments.Republicans again seeking to split 9th Circuit (PLEASE DO!)
Posted on 06/19/2005 8:18:57 AM PDT by SandRat
LOS ANGELES - Congressional Republicans are hoping yet again to split the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers nine Western states and has issued some rulings to the dismay of conservatives.
The Republicans say a breakup is the best way to reduce the circuit's caseload.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., plans this week to introduce a bill to split the circuit into three parts. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has already introduced legislation this year that would create at least one, if not two, new appellate courts for the area, which includes Arizona.
"The situation is continuing to get worse for the 9th Circuit," Ensign said in a telephone interview on Thursday. "It has by far the most cases per jurist, and it's just too large and too unwieldy."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has opposed efforts to split the circuit, said the real issue is the number of judges handling cases. "If there is a way to reduce the caseload of the 9th Circuit's judges in a fair and honest manner," she said in a statement, "I am open to considerations."
The idea of splitting the 9th Circuit is hardly new; efforts date back decades. But it packs greater significance following recent criticism from some conservatives of decisions by federal judges.
Democrats who have opposed a split may be cautious about voicing strong opposition after the recent skirmish over judicial filibusters. And with Republican majorities in the Senate and House, which passed a version of the bill last year, supporters say they consider the split inevitable.
The 9th Circuit is disproportionate in its size. All the other circuits have about 12 judges, whereas the 9th circuit has about twice that many. It should be split.
A Commission during the 1990s said that the 9th Circuit shuld be split into two divisions, but maintained as a Circuit, with some "floating" judges between the two divisions to assure uniformity. This is a wacky idea compared to simply splitting the 9th Circuit. The Commission's idea would have essentially created another, mezzanine level of appeals within one of the Circuits, and leading to confusion. There is simply no need to go there.
As it is, the 9th Circuit is also the nation's most liberal Circuit and is routinely overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. This difference will only widen as Bush's nominees for the more-or-less balanced Circuits, e.g., the 11th, are confirmed, making all the Circuits, except the for 9th, conservative Circuits.
The only problem I see with splitting the 9th Circuit is the "blue card" of the Democratic Senators from California. They, for example, blue carded Christopher Cox when he was nominated to the 9th Circuit (Bush subsequently nominated him for the SEC).
The extension of Republican hegemony to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals within which is California is going to require some imagination. Perhaps we can leave California to be a one state Circuit, and fill it with recess-appointed judges (until a Democrat is elected President and they elect at least 50 Senators).
Perhaps, I have no knowledge of Judge Jones. I'll have one of our clerks pull some of her opinions Monday.
The 9th's Judge STEPHEN REINHARDT =
-Leader of the Pack
-Friend of the CLINTONS
-No "UNDER GOD" Pledge of Allegence in Schools
The Enemy is now Within...
and always has been.
thanks for that pic. I've been curious about that for some time.
rational is a correct term that doe not apply to the 9th.
Oh, in addition, I haven't handled a personal injury case since I was an intern in a pro bono publico clinic as a third-year student. Your knee-jerk animosity is not worthy of a response.
Moreover, the 9th Circuit is the official Court of Enviro-wacko Causes. Splitting the circuit would mean that Californians will still get the rulings they want, while the other states in the Circuit can be returned to judicial sanity.