|Judges Testify on Ninth Circuit Split
April 8, 2004
By OCE Public Information Office
A Senate subcommittee Wednesday heard more than three hours of testimony for and against a plan to split the Ninth Circuit into three smaller judicial jurisdictions.
The hearing on Senate Bill 2278, which was introduced last week by Senator John Ensign of Nevada, was held by the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. The bill would retain California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Ninth Circuit, while grouping Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Montana into a new 12th Circuit, and Alaska, Oregon and Washington into a new 13th Circuit.
Tesitfying at the hearing were Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder, Senior Circuit Judge Clifford Wallace and Chief District Judge John C. Coughenour of the Western District of Washington, speaking against the split, and Ninth Circuit Judges Richard Tallman and Diarmuid O'Scannlain and 11th Circuit Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat, speaking in favor of a circuit split.
Attached is the text of Senate Bill 2278, statements by Sen. Ensign, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who chairs the subcommittee, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, its ranking minority member, and the statements of Judges Schroeder, Wallace, O'Scannlain, Tallman, Tjoflat and Coughenour.
Media coverage of the hearing included articles in The Oregonian, the Arizona Republic, and the Billings Gazette.
The hearing will be available for viewing online at the C-SPAN web site, www.c-span.org, beginning late today or early Friday. In addition, an excerpt of the hearing will be televised on C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" program this Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m. EST.