PoliticalNews.me - Feb 16,2017 - 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
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the 9th Circuit Court’s top administrator regarding a statement from the court’s public information office to the Wall Street Journal that “the court is strongly opposed to a split.”
The statement was issued in response to Flake’s bill with U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would break up the oversized, overburdened, and oft-overturned 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and move Arizona – along with several other western states – into a newly-established 12th Circuit Court. To view the press release on the bill, click here.
“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.
View a signed copy of the letter here.
View the text of the letter below.
February 10, 2017
Cathy A. Catterson
Circuit and Court of Appeals Executive
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939
Dear Ms. Catterson:
I write concerning my recently introduced bill, the Judicial Administration and Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 276), and comments made by the Ninth Circuit’s public information officer to the Wall Street Journal relating to it.
As you may be aware, last week I introduced a bill to remedy the delayed access to justice that plagues residents of Arizona and other States by establishing a new U.S. Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit. It is similar to a bill I introduced last Congress and to bills introduced by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).
My bill is an exercise of Congress’s Article I power “[t]o constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court.” Such bills are not unprecedented. Congress carved the Tenth Circuit from the Eighth (in 1929) and the Eleventh from the Fifth (in 1981). Indeed, as David Frederick recounts in his history of the Ninth Circuit, Rugged Justice, Senator Homer Bone (D-MT) introduced legislation in 1941 to create a new circuit out of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
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. Last summer, for example, I asked a nominee to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Lucy Koh, if she had any thoughts on the size of the Ninth Circuit