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Saturday, November 05, 2005 

12th Circuit?

Senators are trying once again to split the 9th Circuit apart and create a new 12th Circuit. I think this is a great idea. The 9th Circuit is huge. As Senator Murkowski states...
"The 58 million residents of the 9th Circuit are suffering from the size and ineffectiveness of the circuit,"’ Murkowski said. "‘The current makeup of the 9th Circuit leaves its judges unable to effectively review opinions, take up cases in an appropriate length of time, and makes the management of the court burdensome."’
Opponents have claimed that more judges could be added to the 9th Circuit. But at what point does that just get silly? They already have 28 judges and incredibly weird en banc rules. Normally when an appeals court hears a case en banc, all of the judges participate. This lets the entire court have its view expressed on an issue. The 9th uses a randomly chosen 11 judge panel. This is a wonderful recipe for intracircuit conflicts in rulings.

I don't think this bill will go anywhere. The Democrats would not want it to go anywhere. I'm sure that there are provisions in the bill that reassign some judges from the 9th to the 12th, but President Bush would get to name many of the judges for the new 12th Circuit. That alone should make Schumer crap his pants. I'm sure there would be charges of court packing and such. I think that the precedent of the formation of the 11th Circuit in 1981 shows that this is a workable and positive solution.

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