On Redrawing Circuit Boundaries - Why the Proposal to Divide the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is Not Such a Good Idea
The current U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Nearly 46 million people live within its boundaries. As a result, the 9th Circuit has the largest caseload and takes the most time of any federal circuit court to dispose of cases. Despite all of this, Professor Baker lays out his argument for why dividing the 9th Circuit is wrong-headed. He starts by giving a detailed history of U.S. circuit courts, including the recent experience of splitting the 5th Circuit. He then takes on the pro-division arguments one by one, pointing out the weaknesses, false assumptions, and fallacies in each. He then concludes with his suggestions for increasing the circuit courts’ caseload capacity without further division.