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senate Bill S. 276

Should the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals be Split in Two?

Argument in favor

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as it’s currently structured is too large and has too heavy a caseload. With an average wait time of 15 months, citizens under its jurisdiction don’t have quick access to justice. Creating a new 12th Circuit Court of Appeals would ease the burden of both courts and ensure the judicial system functions efficiently for residents of western states.

LiaP's Opinion
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02/11/2017
It should be split but in a geographically logical way. The proposal as currently written is judicial gerrymandering. It should be Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho as one district, and the other states and territories as another.
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DonaldTrump's Opinion
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10/18/2017
"Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit. And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. Because they know that's like, semi-automatic. You see judge shopping, or what's gone on with these people, they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. It's got close to an 80 percent reversal period, and what's going on in the 9th Circuit is a shame." -- Source - http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-absolutely-looking-at-breaking-up-9th-circuit-court-of-appeals/article/2621379
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Loraki's Opinion
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02/11/2017
I vote YEA! This is something that should have been done long before now! As Senator Flake and others have pointed out, the 9th Circuit hears over 12,000 appeals each year, and the average wait time for a ruling exceeds 15 months. A fair and functioning judiciary is one of the pillars of our democracy, but the oversized and overburdened 9th Circuit has many Americans waiting too long for justice. How would YOU like it if YOU were one of those people waiting for justice???! OTOH, the 9th Circuit has been jokingly referred to as the “Nutty 9th” or the “9th Circus” because the Supreme Court overturns a relatively high percentage of its rulings. According to statistics compiled from SCOTUSblog’s annual Circuit Scorecards, between 2010-15 the 9th had 79 percent of its rulings overturned by the Supreme Court, with only the 6th (87 percent) and 11th (85 percent) circuits surpassing it. If President Trump's travel ban is likely to make it to the Supreme Court, the 9th. Circuit Court's decision might very well be overturned! The odds seem to be in the President's favor! Since Senator Cruz wasn't picked to fill Justice Scalia's seat, it might be a good idea to make him the new Solicitor General!
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Argument opposed

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should keep its current jurisdiction despite it being a lot bigger than other circuits in terms of geographic size and population. Conservatives mainly want to break it up because they think it is staffed by too many liberal judges and has issued too many rulings that were eventually overturned by the Supreme Court.

Jackwitch's Opinion
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02/11/2017
This is a good idea, but the way the split is currently designed is nothing less than gerrymandering. Make it make sense geographically based on case load density if you're really trying to ease the 9th circuit
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AuntG's Opinion
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02/11/2017
The courts would not be nearly as bogged down were those 19 vacancies filled. How about do your job and fill the empty seats rather than split the court.
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Katie's Opinion
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02/11/2017
If you must split, you should split according to geography. This bill is clearly gerrymandering.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 2nd, 2017
    It should be split but in a geographically logical way. The proposal as currently written is judicial gerrymandering. It should be Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho as one district, and the other states and territories as another.
    Like (597)
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    This is a good idea, but the way the split is currently designed is nothing less than gerrymandering. Make it make sense geographically based on case load density if you're really trying to ease the 9th circuit
    Like (1110)
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    The timing of this appears retaliatory.
    Like (1205)
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    The courts would not be nearly as bogged down were those 19 vacancies filled. How about do your job and fill the empty seats rather than split the court.
    Like (804)
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    If you must split, you should split according to geography. This bill is clearly gerrymandering.
    Like (732)
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    "Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit. And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. Because they know that's like, semi-automatic. You see judge shopping, or what's gone on with these people, they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. It's got close to an 80 percent reversal period, and what's going on in the 9th Circuit is a shame." -- Source - http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-absolutely-looking-at-breaking-up-9th-circuit-court-of-appeals/article/2621379
    Like (415)
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    This is a political move, and inappropriate.
    Like (409)
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    Breaking up the Ninth Circuit at this time can only be seen as a partisan measure, and simply as an extension of the rampant gerrymandering in which the GOP has been engaging since before the 2008 election. While the Ninth Circuit may be too large in itself, the current political climate makes any altruistic intentions questionable if not impossible.
    Like (399)
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    The proposed split is not balanced either geographically or by population.
    Like (241)
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    Stop letting the republicans do whatever they want, it's getting ridiculous
    Like (234)
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    Relieving some of the load of the 9th circuit is fine, but the current plan does not make geographical sense: it is merely gerrymandering.
    Like (138)
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    Why when these ppl don't get their way they try to gerrymander everything.
    Like (117)
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    Sounds like judicial gerrymandering. Why are they separating the Circuit? Are they swamped with too many cases that justifies a new district or is it because the recent block on the EO was not to their liking and they are punishing the Circuit?
    Like (112)
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    Arizona, Alaska and Washington together? That makes no sense and is clearly gerrymandering in reacton to recent events. If it needs to be split up do it by geographic proximity like all the other districts.
    Like (80)
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    This might be an excellent idea but the timing of it is highly suspect.
    Like (75)
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    I vote YEA! This is something that should have been done long before now! As Senator Flake and others have pointed out, the 9th Circuit hears over 12,000 appeals each year, and the average wait time for a ruling exceeds 15 months. A fair and functioning judiciary is one of the pillars of our democracy, but the oversized and overburdened 9th Circuit has many Americans waiting too long for justice. How would YOU like it if YOU were one of those people waiting for justice???! OTOH, the 9th Circuit has been jokingly referred to as the “Nutty 9th” or the “9th Circus” because the Supreme Court overturns a relatively high percentage of its rulings. According to statistics compiled from SCOTUSblog’s annual Circuit Scorecards, between 2010-15 the 9th had 79 percent of its rulings overturned by the Supreme Court, with only the 6th (87 percent) and 11th (85 percent) circuits surpassing it. If President Trump's travel ban is likely to make it to the Supreme Court, the 9th. Circuit Court's decision might very well be overturned! The odds seem to be in the President's favor! Since Senator Cruz wasn't picked to fill Justice Scalia's seat, it might be a good idea to make him the new Solicitor General!
    Like (70)
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    No way. That is just another version of electoral college to give a very small minority's too much of a say.
    Like (68)
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    Lemme guess: this bill was written by a Republican, right?
    Like (67)
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    Classic. Don't get your way so you try to rewrite the district. Are you congressmen or children?
    Like (65)
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    Literally judicial gerrymandering.
    Like (58)
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