Last week, the Arizona House of Representatives passed a House Concurrent Memorial urging Congress “to divide the Ninth Circuit into two separate circuits,” citing a long list of systemic flaws and alleged abuses the court has visited on the people of the Grand Canyon State.
“Arizona’s values and laws have long been under assault from an appeals court that is overburdened, overturned far too often, and devoid of justice for many of its petitioners,” reads a statement from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. about the memorial, who has introduced legislation aimed at remedying the situation.
The bill, H.R 250, would split the more conservative western states from their far Left-leaning coastal counterparts in order to free them “from the burdensome and undue influence of the 9th Circuit Court” with the creation of a new 12th Circuit court.
Currently the circuit is composed of nine Western states and the territory of Guam. What this means in practice is, thanks to blue slip tradition in the judiciary committee, liberal jurists from California, Oregon and Washington end up ruling on cases in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Montana. A similar bill in the Senate would also split the circuit, but disagrees on whether or not Washington state should remain part of the Ninth.
“The Ninth Circuit cannot handle the number of states currently entrapped within its jurisdiction, causing access to justice to be delayed,” reads a release from Biggs’ office. “Worse still, the Ninth Circuit has the highest reversal rate in the country, topping 75 percent.”
Resting on the argument that the circuit is too big and too slow with moving its caseload, the press release stops short of saying that the Ninth Circuit encapsulates nearly the entire mountain time zone inside a jurisprudential clown show. But it does that, too.
For example, a week before all eyes were fixed on the three-judge panel that kept in place the Temporary Restraining Order, the same court denied an en banc hearing to the state of Arizona, which it previously forced to issue drivers’ licenses to illegals under Obama’s DACA executive amnesty program.
“Arizona has no cognizable interest in making the distinction it has for drivers’ licenses purposes,” said Judge Harry Pregerson on Feb. 3. “The federal government, not the states, holds exclusive authority concerning direct matters of immigration law.” Twenty-four judges concurred with the ruling; a mere five dissented.
Perhaps Judge Pregerson just forgot that immigration law is the purview of Congress – who repeatedly struck down the DREAM Act – not the executive branch, as Judge Alex Kozinski points out in the dissent. But such is par for the course in the nutty Ninth Circuit.
It makes complete sense that the people of Arizona, and probably the citizens of other states in the region, are tired of far-Left social transformation without representation and calling out for relief from it. The only question is whether they’ll get it.
Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, jihadism, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMaddenCR and on Facebook.