Federal Courts — Proposed Changes to the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Courts of Appeals — Final Report of the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals; and S. 253, the Ninth Circuit Reorganization Act
7 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2014 Last revised: 5 Nov 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2000
The Ninth Circuit has long been criticized for its large size and inconsistent precedents. In December 1998, in response to a congressional mandate to examine the Ninth Circuit, a specially appointed judicial commission ("the Commission") released its recommendations for redesigning the federal circuit system, and a bill to implement those recommendations is now before Congress. The Commission rejected the idea of splitting the Ninth Circuit and instead proposed reorganizing the structure of the court of appeals. Although the report introduces a new long-term vision for restructuring the progress of cases, the Commission’s proposals do not adequately address the concerns that prompted the investigation and may even function counter to the Commission’s stated goals. Congress should instead consider splitting the Ninth Circuit notwithstanding the Commission’s recommendation.
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