Is the Ninth Circuit too liberal? Arizona's governor seems to think so. Recently, he spearheaded an effort to break up the nation's largest circuit.
Is this the beginning of the Twelfth Circuit?
Reasoning Behind the Push
According to the Associated Press, Gov. Doug Ducey proposed that Arizona either move "into a different region" or Congress should create another circuit because of the Ninth's Circuit extreme caseload and very large geographic area. He also alluded to the circuit's "high rate of cases" overturned by SCOTUS. So far, Ducey has secured the support of other republican allies in his state, including Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and Congressman Matt Salmon. Dulcey's office hopes to get draft legislation on the floor of Congress soon, with Flak drafting the bill.
The Past Repeats Itself
Gov. Doug Ducey's push to liberate from the clutches of Ninth Circuit liberalism is a repeat of past attempts to do essentially the same thing. Obviously, all attempts to either move the state under the federal jurisdiction of another Circuit or to split the Ninth Circuit have failed.
For his part, the Arizona governor dismissed claims that this was actually part of a greater political move to burnish his republican credentials. Instead, he insisted that the move was simply a reflection of vox populi: "It's all about good government," said Ducy's chief deputy of staff, according to the Associated Press. "I think it's hard to call this a stunt when you look at the broad support and the broad cries for this that have come from [judges and Congress]."
A New Circuit Map?
If Ducey had his way, his plan would either bring Arizona into the Tenth Circuit or would create a Twelfth Circuit, alongwith Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Idaho and Alaska. This would leave the Ninth with California, Oregon and Washington.
Admittedly, it would at least make the circuit map look much less lopsided.