Republicans Push Bill to Split Up 'Nutty 9th Circuit'
By Barnini Chakraborty, FoxNews.com
As judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals weigh the legality of President Trump’s immigration executive order, a Republican push to split up the controversial court -- and shrink its clout -- is gaining steam on Capitol Hill.
Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona introduced legislation last month to carve six states out of the San Francisco-based court circuit and create a brand new 12th Circuit.
They argue that the 9th is too big, too liberal and too slow resolving cases. If they succeed, only California, Oregon, Hawaii and two island districts would remain in the 9th's judicial fiefdom.
Right now, Flake said, the circuit is far too sprawling.
“It represents 20 percent of the population -- and 40 percent of the land mass is in that jurisdiction. It’s just too big,” Flake told Fox News on Wednesday. “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.”
Flake says it typically takes the court 15 months to hand down a decision.
“It’s far too long,” he added.
Conservatives have mocked the 9th Circuit for years, often calling it the “Nutty 9th” or the “9th Circus,” in part because so many of its rulings have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court has a reputation as one of the most liberal in the country, in large part because of its makeup. Eighteen of the court’s 25 active judges have been appointed by Democrats. Former President George W. Bush appointed six justices, while former President Barack Obama appointed seven.