Department of Justice Reverses 35yr Old Position To Favor 9th Circuit Split


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Bartholomew Roberts
September 28, 2006, 12:24 PM
http://www.abanet.org/journal/ereport/s22ninth.html

After nearly 35 years of debate over dividing the nation’s largest federal appellate court, the Justice Department has reversed its previous stance and is now weighing in on the side of a split.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy, stated the time is right to split the overburdened, oversized 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in San Francisco.

The circuit’s size—it encompasses nine states with a total population of 58 million people—has resulted in delays and inconsistencies in opinions. Brand testified that the appellate judges are known to quickly turn around decisions after oral argument, but that the circuit takes more than four months longer than others from the point of filing the appeal to final disposition.

Contributing to these inconsistencies is the circuit’s unusual en banc procedures, which call for 15 out of the 28 active judges on the court to resolve a dispute en banc, Brand testified. In a close case, eight judges, a minority of the full court, could decide a key issue.

Brand was one of 12 witnesses—six in favor of a split, six opposed—who testified about the legislation, which has been introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. John Ensign, R-Nev. Their bill would leave California and Hawaii in the 9th Circuit and create a 12th Circuit to cover Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona. It also would add seven more judges, likely to remain in the 9th Circuit.

Legislation to split the circuit passed the House last year, but never reached a vote in the Senate. (Continued at link above)


So this bill would free Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Arizona from the 9th Circuit AND add 7 new Bush-appointed justices to the Circuit Court of Appeals. Of course, that presumes the Republicans are still able to nominate judicial candidates and get them past the Senate after this November.

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orangelo
September 28, 2006, 12:25 PM
Sounds good to me.

LAR-15
September 28, 2006, 12:31 PM
Only if Republicans are in control and can nominate the judges

Third_Rail
September 28, 2006, 12:33 PM
Even if they're not, having a different court for Alaska, Montana, etc., than California is good news.

LAR-15
September 28, 2006, 12:48 PM
True.

But it would stink having Chuckles Schumer in charge of letting Bush's nominations up for a vote.

At least Specter has been fair about that.

rbernie
September 28, 2006, 01:16 PM
So this bill would free Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Arizona from the 9th Circuit AND add 7 new Bush-appointed justices to the Circuit Court of Appeals.Are the nominees for the Circuit Court of Appeals normally chosen from the region emcompassed by the circuit? Or is this a case where the judges usually have no direct ties to the region that their circuit covers?

DKSuddeth
September 28, 2006, 01:21 PM
this is a great thing. just make sure that reinhardt and preggerson are in the minority wherever they go.

bg
September 28, 2006, 01:28 PM
Any you look at it, were still sunk out here in the Girlie
Man state. Oh why have we been forsaken...? :(

Henry Bowman
September 28, 2006, 01:39 PM
Are the nominees for the Circuit Court of Appeals normally chosen from the region emcompassed by the circuit?Yes.

I have favored this split-up for many, many years. The last time it was seriously considered, the hang-up was that no state other than Hawaii was willing to be hitched to California and geographically AZ and NV was to be stuck there. Now it appears that more are willing to let CA and HI go it alone and to take the all of the other states along in a new 12th Circuit.

Good.

up_onus
September 28, 2006, 01:52 PM
buuuuuut, what does this mean? I get the jist...but I mean to ask, how does this affect anything?

rbernie
September 28, 2006, 02:42 PM
how does this affect anything?The 9th Circuit was widely viewed as having issued some of the most insanely socialist rulings seen.

Their bill would leave California and Hawaii in the 9th Circuit and create a 12th Circuit to cover Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona. The more 'rural' western states are trying to get their own circuit so that issues of relevance to them get decided in a court that is more closely aligned to their value structure.

As it was, issues arising in Boise, for example, would be heard and decided by a court of appeals that had a definite lack of understanding of how life is conducted in Boise.

ArmedBear
September 28, 2006, 02:56 PM
I do think the 9th Circuit should split. In the '60s sense.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 28, 2006, 05:37 PM
Any you look at it, were still sunk out here in the Girlie
Man state.

On the contrary, the current proposal would export 7 of your socialist judges to the new 12th Circuit and you would get 7 new judges who would hopefully be better.

Even if you don't end up getting all 7 of the new judges, you would definitely dilute the current ideology of the 9th Circuit a bit.

Cosmoline
September 28, 2006, 05:44 PM
The resistance to this change has served to highlight the blatant efforts by "mainstream" legal authorities to favor the left. There is absolutely no practical justification to keep the 9th in its current form. The clerks are so overwhelmed trying to manage the beast that appeals can take years to reach a hearing.

ProguninTN
September 28, 2006, 07:54 PM
I can only hope this passes. It is time for a split. If I recall correctly, the
9th Circuit is more frequently overruled by SCOTUS than any other.

Flyboy
September 29, 2006, 01:30 AM
I can only hope this passes. It is time for a split. If I recall correctly, the 9th Circuit is more frequently overruled by SCOTUS than any other.
My understanding is that this is strictly true, but only because the 9th Circuit also handles more cases than any other. I have been told--but have not confirmed--that the 9th is overturned at a rate similar to the other circuits.

Anybody want to weigh in on that with actual data?

Ieyasu
September 29, 2006, 02:20 AM
Anybody want to weigh in on that with actual data?
http://www.centerforindividualfreedom.org/legal/9th_circuit.htm
http://www.centerforindividualfreedom.org/education/supreme_court_wary_of_9th.htm

http://mediamatters.org/items/200511090012

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