Split the 9th Circuit?

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report Dec. 14 on current legislation in Congress to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. "The nation's largest in geography, population, and caseload, the Ninth Circuit on occasion has been noted for its controversial rulings," CRS observes in its opening summary.

On Nov. 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (HR 4241, PDF, 1.36MB, 830p., from GPO) which, among its many provisions, seeks to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals into two circuits - a new Ninth and a Twelfth Circuit (HR 4241, Title V, Subtitle D, p. 519). The new 9th would include four of the current 11 jurisdictions: California, Guam, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The 12th would comprise the remaining seven: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Seven bills have been introduced in the current Congress proposing to split the 9th Circuit, but with its passage on Nov. 18, HR 4241 has become the focal point regarding the split, notes CRS.

(An AP story on Dec. 9 reported that Hawaii's two senators oppose the court split.)

Proposals in the 109th Congress to Split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, CRS report, RL33189
(available in PDF, 116KB, 29p., from Open CRS)

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