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Press Release

New Opposition to Efforts to Split the Ninth Circuit

Non-Partisan Opposition to the Right-Wing Ideological Push to Split the Ninth Circuit

August 3, 2006


Glenn Sugameli, Senior Legislative Counsel, 202-667-4500 Ext. 221

Washington, DC--

Today, Earthjustice and more than 100 civil rights, women's rights, disability rights, labor, health, religious, senior, conservation and other national, regional, state and local groups, sent a letter to Senators urging them to oppose S. 1845, "The Circuit Court of Appeals Restructuring and Modernization Act of 2005," and other proposals to split the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals into two or more circuit courts. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Arlen Specter (R-PA) has stated that he wants to split the circuit this year.  Read a copy of the letter here.

As the groups note, they join the vast majority of current 9th Circuit judges, numerous elected officials from the 9th Circuit, and a wide range of others, including bar associations, law professors, prominent jurists and legal advocates, in opposing efforts to split the 9th Circuit. Pete Wilson, as a Republican Senator from California (who later served two-terms as governor) condemned previous efforts as a bald attempt at "environmental gerrymandering" by those who had been angered by rulings upholding and enforcing environmental laws.

The letter explains that splitting the circuit would only exacerbate the federal judiciary's virtually unprecedented fiscal crisis, and lead to less consistency in the law on a variety of critical issues, including resource management. 

View a comprehensive compilation of links to the widespread and diverse opposition to the split here. Learn more about the ideological motivation driving the proposal here.