Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another Day In Paradise

Tom Delay, who is surely one of the most corrupt moral imbeciles to have graced the hallowed halls of Congress in my lifetime, and whose ethical violations continue to multiply unchecked, helped Michael Simpson [R-ID} introduce HR 211 on January 4, 2005, a bill whose intent is to destroy the liberal Ninth District Court, to wit:
"Ninth Circuit Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2005 - Amends the Federal judicial code to divide the Ninth Judicial Circuit into the Ninth Circuit (to be composed of California, Guam, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands), the Twelfth Circuit (to be composed of Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana), and Thirteenth Circuit (to be composed of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State).

Requires the President to appoint five additional circuit judges for the new Ninth Circuit and two temporary judges for the former Ninth Circuit.

Specifies the locations where new circuits are to hold regular sessions.

Assigns active circuit judges of the former Ninth Circuit to the new circuits. Allows senior circuit judges of the former Ninth Circuit to elect assignment.

Specifies the disposition of cases pending in the former Ninth Circuit before the effective date of this Act as follows: (1) proceedings in matters that have been submitted for decision shall continue without regard to this Act; (2) matters not yet submitted for decision must be transferred to the court to which they would have been submitted under this Act; and (3) proceedings on petitions for rehearing or rehearing en banc that have been submitted or decided shall continue without regard to this Act.

Authorizes the temporary assignment of circuit and district judges of the former Ninth Circuit among the new circuits. Authorizes administrative coordination among any two contiguous new circuits.

Directs that the former Ninth Circuit shall cease to exist for administrative purposes two years after enactment of this Act."
You don't need me to tell you that the effect of such a bill, should it succeed, would be to essentially eliminate any recourse for liberal causes at the Federal level, as it would divide into smaller and more conservative districts and offer Bush the chance to fill the newly-made courts with judges more to his cronies' likings. Will the Democrats step up to the plate and take this on, or make a lot of noise and then let it slide on through? I doubt we can afford to leave it up to them, given their track record in the last few months. If you care at all about this, it's crucial to contact your representatives and let them know how you feel.

Update: For your reading pleasure, from correspondence I sent out about the Ninth Circuit and why it matters--
"It wouldn't eliminate ALL recourse...I was being dramatic. But it would certainly have a huge impact, possibly almost as great as if Bush were to appoint a couple more Supreme Court justices. Each Circuit has its own personality due to the judges appointed there. The Ninth is by far the most liberal (though not always) and has been responsible for some important opinions and reversals that have driven the Bush people mad with frustration....the Oregon Death with Dignity Act that Ashcroft tried to overrule, the medical marijuana laws in California, the attempt by Bush's admin scientists to warp studies on behalf of the timber industry , overturned rulings that originally favored industry over environment , and on and on. They are the jurists most often referred to by the right as "activist judges", and their decisions are most often overturned by the current Supreme Court.
Their website is here, and you can read more about the concept of the breakup here."

Thanks especially to the wonderful site govtrack.us, and to Joshua Tauberer, the young man who was responsible for compiling the site and tracking the information. Bookmark the page.

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