The age-old effort to split up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is back. Republican senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Steve Daines of Montana have co-sponsored the latest bill. The Ninth Circuit is the federal appeals court for Alaska and eight other western states. It is by far the biggest of all the circuit courts, serving a population nearly double the second largest.
Campaigns to split it up date back to at least the 1940s.
Many critics say the court is dominated by California judges and too liberal. The co-sponsors, though, stuck to statistics in a statement today promoting their bill. The senators say the court has over 14,000 pending cases, more than three times the volume of any other circuit, and takes longer, on average, to resolve them.
The bill would leave California and Hawaii in the Ninth and move the other states to their own circuit.