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November 2005

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Congress Considers Ninth Circuit Split and New Judgeships

The Ninth Circuit was the topic of both a Senate hearing and a House mark-up in October 2005.

In the House, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property marked up and sent H.R. 4093, the "Federal Judgeship and Administrative Efficiency Act of 2005" to the full Judiciary Committee. In addition to creating 68 Article III and 25 bankruptcy judgeships, the bill would create a new Twelfth Circuit composed of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts held a hearing on the topic of "Revisiting Proposals to Split the Ninth Circuit: An Inevitable Solution to a Growing Problem." In his opening statement, subcommittee chair Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said the question was "whether the enormous size of the Ninth Circuit is an impediment to the administration of justice and whether a division of the Circuit would enhance justice."

Appearing before the subcommittee to testify on both sides of that question were, (photo, left to right): Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain (9th Cir), Judge Richard Tallman (9th Cir.), Chief Judge Mary Schroeder (9th Cir.), and Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.). Also testifying were Judge Marilyn Huff (S.D. Calif.), Judge Andrew Kleinfeld (9th Cir.), Judge John Roll (D. Ariz.), and Judge Sidney R. Thomas (9th Cir.).