The judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals that now has the fate of President Trump’s travel ban in their hands have long been referred to as a controversial court that is too big, overworked, and overly liberal in its findings.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals represents over 20 percent of the United States population, and it takes them an average of 15 months to hand down decisions.
Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona introduced a bill that would break the San Francisco-based court circuit into six states and create a new 12th circuit.
If they can get the legislation passed, the only states the current court would represent would be California, Oregon, Hawaii and two island districts.
According to Sen. Flake, right now the circuit is too massive:
In an interview with Fox News, Flake said, “It represents 20 percent of the population — and 40 percent of the land mass is in that jurisdiction. It’s just too big. We have a bedrock principle of swift justice, and if you live in Arizona or anywhere in the 9th Circuit, you just don’t have it.”
The court has long been known to be the most liberal in the country, with 18 of the 25 judges being Democrats.
According to Fox, conservatives have referred to the court for decades as the “Nutty 9th” or the “9th Circus” court because it has overturned many U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Flake said this about the attempt to divide the court: “The problem is the judges in the 9th Circuit, particularly the liberal judges, don’t want to give up any of their jurisdiction.”
The 9th District was formed by Congress in 1891, back when only four percent of the U.S. population lived in the territory, as compared with the 20 percent that lives there now.
Democratic strategist Joe Lestingi refuted Republican claims that the 9th District is a left-leaning court, telling Fox News, “We don’t complain about courts being too conservative. The truth is, the liberal side of that court provides the conflict we need to settle our most basic disagreements.”
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