The American Bar Association (ABA) opposes splitting the Ninth Circuit and defended the court’s current configuration earlier this year. In a lengthy memo to the House Judiciary Committee, the ABA said that with current technology there’s no practical reason to favor a smaller circuit, that breaking up the circuit would not reduce overall caseload, and that the plan therefore lacked the support of the legal community. The chief judge of the Ninth Circuit, Sidney Thomas, and many judges in this appeals court have also come out publicly against the proposed split.
“Circuit division would have a devastating effect on the administration of justice in the western United States,” said Judge Thomas. “A circuit split would increase delay, reduce access to justice, and waste taxpayer dollars.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to hear from more organizations representing legal professionals whose work is affected by the decisions of the Ninth Circuit. These legal professionals need to affirm that the court is operating well and that any attempt to split it would harm rather than improve its performance.
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