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Senator Statements


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Sen. Feinstein on Ninth Circuit Split: Unnecessary, Needless Waste of Taxpayer Dollars
(Democrat - California) 08/24/17
“Proponents of splitting the Ninth Circuit rely on misleading arguments and it’s important to set the record straight. These efforts have nothing to do with caseload,” said Senator Feinstein. “In fact, splitting the Ninth Circuit would be a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. The simple fact is that calls by President Trump and Senate Republicans to split the Ninth Circuit are simply a political response to decisions they don’t like.” “Proposals to split the Ninth Circuit are opposed by judges appointed by presidents of both parties as well as the broader legal community and the business community, which benefits greatly from uniformity in federal law in Western states.”

Sen. Flake Presses 9th Circuit on Court’s Taxpayer-funded Lobbying Efforts Against Split Legislation
(Republican - Arizona) 05/01/17
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today sent a follow-up letter to the top administrator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit questioning the court’s political activities geared toward resisting his legislation to create a new 12th Circuit.... “Establishing a new federal circuit with stronger local, regional, and cultural ties will ease the caseload burden across the West and ensure that Arizonans finally get the swift access to justice they deserve,” said Flake. “While we must protect judicial independence, we must also ensure that 9th Circuit officials do not interfere with Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of our federal courts.”

Sen. Cruz: Breaking up 9th Circuit Court ‘a possibility’
(Republican - Texas) 04/27/17
“I think that’s a topic I can easily see the [Senate] Judiciary Committee taking up, and we’ll have to see whether we have to votes to do that or not.” Cruz added that California’s inclusion in the court’s jurisdiction has given it a liberal tilt. “I think many of the Western states are weighted down by California,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate said. “California has a ton of very liberal, left-wing judges that they put on the 9th Circuit. I think a lot of the other Western states would love to be freed from that corrosive left-wing influence.”

Sen. Schumer slaps down Trump's plans for 9th Circuit
(Democrat - New York) 04/26/17
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday he rejects any plans by President Trump to break up the 9th Circuit Court. Schumer responded to Trump's Wednesday interview with the Washington Examiner, in which he said he is "absolutely" looking at breaking up the 9th Circuit with a two-word tweet. "Absolutely not," Schumer said.

Sen. Flake Presses 9th Circuit for Answers on “Unsettling” Statement to Media: Sends letter regarding public information office’s decision to take sides on his pending legislation to break up the court
(Republican - Arizona) 02/10/17
“I am aware that individual judges within the Ninth Circuit have historically expressed opinions on the topic. Some are in favor of the split. Others oppose it. Others view the question as a matter of legislative prerogative… It was unsettling to learn that an Article III court has a position on pending legislation and that a public information officer would purport to speak on behalf of the court as a whole, notwithstanding the diversity of opinion members of the court have historically expressed on this question,” wrote Flake.

Sen. Blumenthal on Sen. Flake proposal to split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Democrat - Connecticut) 01/22/17
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a former state attorney general, said he’d want to closely scrutinize Flake’s proposal. “The problem has always been that is has a very large and somewhat unwieldy geographic area and caseload, so the question is whether there’s an effective way to deal with those appeals,” he said. “I’d have to see those details.”

Sen. Hatch on proposed split of Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Republican - Utah) 01/22/17
Not all Republicans sound optimistic about the chances for success. “I’m all for that if he can get it done,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said when asked about splitting the 9th Circuit. “The California people will all be against it, and there will be a lot of others against it, but I think it’d be a wise thing because [the court’s] too big,” he said.

Sen. Flake on bid to split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Republican - Arizona) 01/22/17
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he’s planning to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to split up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals .... “With regard to the court, it’s just access to justice,” Flake said. “Its docket is more than twice as big as the next biggest circuit. This has been a long time coming, and hopefully we can make some progress finally.” Flake’s office said the bill will be similar to the legislation he introduced a year ago to establish an additional U.S. circuit court — composed of Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Alaska — to relieve what he said at the time is an “oversized and overworked” 9th U.S. Circuit.

Sen. Cornyn on proposal to split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Republican - Texas) 01/22/17
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he’d support the measure. “I think there’s been a long recognition that the 9th Circuit is behemoth and is one of the most problematic circuits in the country,” he said.

Sen. Dan Sullivan wants to split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to improve outcomes for Alaska cases on resource development issues
(Republican - Alaska) 01/02/17
Sullivan said he would like to see the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — which is based in San Francisco and hears federal cases pertaining to Alaska — split. That’s because the 9th Circuit is simply too big, he contends. The court with 29 judgeships hears federal appeals from 15 District Courts in nine Western states and that unavoidably leads to an unbearable workload for the judges and in-turn the slowest appeals court in country, said Sullivan, who also worked as a law clerk on the 9th Circuit. “A lot of the opinions are written by the 23-year-old law clerk who just got out of law school, which is a travesty,” he said. Splitting the 9th Circuit would speed rulings and could, in his opinion, improve outcomes for Alaska cases pertaining to resource development issues if they were no longer heard by often-liberal judges from California. A cohort of Arizona Republicans called for the state to be pulled from the 9th Circuit earlier this year for largely the same reasons.

Senator Feinstein Fights Back Effort to Split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
(Democrat - California) 04/19/07
April 19, 2007 press release by Senator Feinstein regarding her blocking an amendment to the Court Security Bill that would have split the Ninth Circuit.

Senator Leahy speaks out against the proposal to split the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
(Democrat - Vermont) 09/20/06
Senator Patrick Leahy's 09/20/2006 Statement against the proposed legislation to split the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Letter from nine Western senators opposing Ninth Circuit Split language in House budget reconciliation bill
(Democrat - California, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) 12/08/05

Senator Feinstein's 10/5/04 Statement on the 9th Circuit Split
(Democrat - California) 10/05/04
Senator Feinstein on the 9th Circuit Split