WASHINGTON D.C. (KIFI)-The Idaho Congressional Delegation is introducing legislation aimed at splitting the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals into two circuits.
The new 9th Circuit would include California, Guam, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The new 12th Circuit would include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
The last adjustment to the circuit courts came in 1981, when the 11th Circuit Court of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia split away from the 5th Circuit of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
The delegation believes the split would make the Court of Appeals more efficient and manageable.
“The Ninth Circuit was established 131 years ago. The region has experienced exponential growth since that time, particularly in Idaho, which has created significant caseloads for the Court to consider,” said Senator Mike Crapo. “Once again, the numbers of caseloads create an astonishingly slow process for those seeking justice. Splitting the Ninth Circuit will help generate a swifter route to justice for those in the region.”
The delegation claims the 9th Circuit currently represents more people than the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and D.C. Circuits combined.
Senator James Risch says a companion bill would give Idaho a permanent, third U.S. District Judge.
The two resolutions have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration. One senate bill was referred to Crapo’s Senate Judiciary Committee. A Senate version of the second House resolution will be introduced on the Senate floor at a later date.