Trump Debating Breaking Up Ninth Circuit Court?

The Ninth Circuit and President Trump.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Trump had some stern things to say about the Ninth Circuit court. Apparently, the President is considering options to break it up.

“Absolutely, I have,” Trump said. “There are many people that want to break up the 9th Circuit. It’s outrageous.¬†Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit. And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. Because they know that’s like, semi-automatic.”

The interview comes just one day after Judge William Orrick (U.S District court) placed a block on Trump’s sanctuary cities order. President Trump received some backlash on social media for confusing the two courts. However the President has previously had issues with the Ninth Circuit when judges placed blocks on his travel bans. Since then, the entire Trump administration has shown contention for the judicial block.

Republicans have long criticized the 9th Circuit for its perceived liberal leanings and its enormous geographical reach. The 9th Circuit hears appeals from courts in nine West Coast states and two U.S. territories. In all there are 25 active judges and 18 were appointed by Democratic presidents.
GOP lawmakers have introduced legislation before that would carve out several states under the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction and create a new court designed to lighten the Ninth’s caseload. None of the legislation has gone anywhere however. Trump also claimed that his opponents are engaging in “judge shopping”. This way they can find a sympathetic judicial platform for their partisan objections.
“You see judge shopping, or what’s gone on with these people, they immediately run to the 9th Circuit,” Trump said. “It’s got close to an 80 percent reversal period, and what’s going on in the 9th Circuit is a shame.” However, there is no conclusive evidence this is true.
What Can Trump Really Do?

Realistically, Trump himself can do little about the 9th Circuit. In order to break it up an act of Congress is necessary. While Republicans currently hold the majority in both chambers of Congress, there is still little likelihood of seeing such legislation advance. Particularly with mid-term elections coming up. One of the largest states encompassed in the circuit is California. No politician, whether in a congressional or presidential run, can risk angering voters in the state.

Additionally, many of the claims made for breaking up the circuit, such a high caseloads, fall short on examination. Realistically, the judges have no more cases than any other circuit judge does. Also, their rate of decisions overturned by the Supreme Court is also in line with other circuits.

Barring an obvious case of negligence or lack of due process, not much will change. That however will not keep President Trump or his administration from trying.




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