(National Sentinel) Judicial Activism: A House committee has voted overwhelmingly to break up the reliably Left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court, the nation’s largest, in a bid to curb the court’s activist tendencies.
Liberty Headlines reports that the effort, led by California Rep. Darrell Issa, has long been a goal of Republicans who have sought to temper the court’s judicial activism, in what is viewed as one of the more circuits.
“Since my first day in Congress, I’ve worked with Members to raise awareness for the need to reform this out-of-control circuit, keeping a primary commitment I’ve made to my constituents,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican who co-sponsored the bill. “This court is simply too large to properly and efficiently handle the cases that come before it.”
Liberty Headlines noted:
Introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the CIRCUIT bill would modify the structure and limit the influence of the Ninth Circuit, which is reliably leftist in its rulings.
The Ninth Circuit has the heaviest caseload of appeals, according to The Recorder, and cannot keep up with all of its cases.
Issa’s CIRCUIT Act would create three regional divisions: a northern division for Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington’s eastern and western districts; a middle division for Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, the northern Mariana islands, and California’s eastern and northern district courts; and a southern division for Arizona and California’s southern and central districts.
Under the Article III of the Constitution, Congress can establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court.
“For the past several decades, the size of the Ninth Circuit has continued to grow far in excess of other circuits,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement after lawmakers on the committee voted 16-5 in favor of the legislation.
“Twenty percent of the U.S. population now resides in this circuit with nine states and two territories, making it twice the size of any other circuit. The geographic breadth and workload of the Ninth Circuit makes it challenging for parties and their counsel to have timely court dates in their region.”
The bill would also create five additional judges, bringing the court’s number of judges to 34.
Issa said that lawmakers have, for years, tried to break up the Ninth Circuit but could never agree on how best to do it, Liberty Headlines reported.
“For years, many have called for this court to be divided, but there remains widespread disagreement on how those divisions should be made,” Issa said in a statement.
Not everyone is on board with this.
The Ninth Circuit’s Chief Judge Sidney Thomas submitted a letter to the committee on Wednesday voicing opposition to the legislation.
“Conflicting decisions from the regional divisions would require resolution by the already-overburdened Circuit Division, leading to increased delays for litigants,” Thomas wrote. “Parties who do not prevail in a case, meanwhile, will have an incentive to seek a second opinion from the Circuit Division as a matter of course.”
Issa has dismissed that, saying the Ninth Circuit’s habit of ruling in favor of political considerations rather than the Constitution and actual law is out of hand.
“This court is simply too large to properly and efficiently handle the cases that come before it,” he said.