Just as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals celebrates the 100th anniversary of the courthouse at Seventh and Mission streets in San Francisco, ideologues are renewing perennial efforts to break up the circuit.A bill to do just that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year, but did not reach the Senate. Two bills have been introduced this year.This political attempt to alter the court to suit political whims of certain ideologues smacks of President Franklin Roosevelt's attempted "court packing" scheme in 1937.
Roosevelt didn't like what the U.S. Supreme Court was doing to his New Deal program, so he sought to enlarge the court so he could name new justices. The arguments he made about "efficiency" sound the same as arguments put forward by today's court wreckers.
A 1997 study ordered by Congress, chaired by Justice Byron White (since deceased), rejected the idea that the 9th should be split, finding it "unnecessary and impractical."
The 9th Circuit operates just as well as the other circuits. Leave it alone.
That latter statement scares me.
Unfortunately, like the splitting of cancer cells, I fear a split of this court would just create another deadly cell ... one exactly like the other.
The problem is not with the court, it's with lawyers who end up on the courts; which suggests to me that the real problem is in our law schools.