Westerners try again at opting out of 9th Circuit
EE News February 4, 2016 (excerpt)
…The 9th Circuit is geographically the largest circuit, covering roughly 20 percent of the country's population. Consequently, it has an abnormally large caseload that can lead to drawn-out legal proceedings.
But it is also considered one of the country's most liberal courts, especially on conservation issues. Most notably, it has upheld controversial environmental regimes, including California's heavily litigated low-carbon fuel standard.
In part because of that record, the 9th Circuit also features a relatively high reversal rate when the Supreme Court decides to review one if its rulings.
Yesterday, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R) introduced legislation that would split up the 9th Circuit and add a new 12th Circuit.
"Swift access to the courts is one of the main tenets of the justice system, but an oversized and overworked 9th Circuit has Arizonans waiting too long for justice," Flake said in a statement. "Establishing an additional circuit would lessen that burden across the West and ensure that the people of Arizona finally get the swift access to the courts that they are entitled to."
The Flake-Salmon bill would move Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Alaska out of the 9th Circuit and into the new 12th Circuit. That would leave Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the 9th Circuit.
Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Dan Sullivan of Alaska introduced two similar bills yesterday. Their first measure would leave the 9th Circuit containing California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; meaning Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington would move to a new 12th Circuit.
Their second bill would mandate a commission to study the appeals court system to make it more efficient….
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