Conservative Judges, Congressmen Want to Break Up Far-Left 9th Circuit

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) A senior judge on the huge and controversial U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals headlined a Congressional hearing August 24 to advocate that his own circuit court be split into smaller units or otherwise reorganized.

Diarmuid O’Scannlain/PHOTO: Univ. of Virginia School of Law

The venerable Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, who has served the Ninth Circuit since 1986, told a Senate committee that the circuit handles appeals from too large a territory, making it “the federal judiciary’s 800-pound gorilla.” The circuit handles appeals from Alaska, Hawaii, Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, and even the territories of Guam and the Marianas Islands. That means it hears appeals from nearly 20 percent of the entire U.S. population and more than 45 percent of the nation’s territory.

The Ninth Circuit does have 29 judges (most have about 13) – but that’s still just 16 percent of all regional circuit judgeships, all of others of whom cover a far smaller physical territory.

PREVIOUSLY: 9th Circuit Opens Door for Mass Release of Illegal Immigrant Minors

The court overall also has a reputation as the most liberal in the country, far outside the judicial mainstream, and it consistently ranks among the circuit courts whose decisions are most often reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Critics say the Ninth Circuit reversals often comprise some of the most spectacularly wrong or even absurd rulings of any in the country, and conservatives often say the court’s leftism is another good reason to break it into smaller courts and isolate the liberals in California.

O’Scannlain, however, said the court’s ideology should not factor into a decision about its reorganization.

“Restructuring proposals should be analyzed on grounds of effective judicial administration— grounds that remain unaffected by Supreme Court ‘batting averages’ or public perception of our decisions. [Nonetheless], restructuring the circuit is the best way to cure the administrative ills affecting my court, an institution that has far exceeded reasonably manageable proportions…. The sheer magnitude of our court and its responsibilities negatively affects all aspects of our business, including our celerity, our consistency, and our clarity. Simply put, the size of the Ninth Circuit is out of sync with the rest of the Judicial Branch. It is time now to take the prudent, well-established course and restructure this circuit.”

PREVIOUSLY: Trump ‘Absolutely’ Looking at Breaking up 9th Circuit Fed Court

Appeals court jurisdictions have been split before. The Tenth was carved out of the Eighth in 1929, and the Eleventh from the Fifth in 1980. Two congressional commissions, one as far back as 1973, concluded that the Ninth should be restructured – but powerful senators always have stood in the way.

Sure enough, California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, released an impassioned statement almost immediately after the hearing to say the idea should be shot down. She even used conservative-sounding arguments to make her case.

“Splitting the Ninth Circuit would be a huge waste of taxpayer dollars,” she said. “And the business community… benefits greatly from uniformity in federal law in Western states.”

But O’Scannlain said just the opposite, namely that “the court’s inordinate size also imposes significant burdens on our ability to maintain consistency and coherence in or law,” and he noted this: “The Ninth Circuit’s caseload exceeds those of the First, Third, Seventh, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, combined. Our backlog is even more staggering.”

O’Scannlain was an appointee of a Republican president (Reagan), but some Democratic appointees also believe that it should be reorganized. Judge Richard Tallman, appointed by Bill Clinton, testified that the circuit is too big, which makes the court “the slowest federal appellate court in the country.”

“An untimely appellate process results in serious injustices to all parties involved,” he said. “The time it takes an appellate court to review a case is the same amount of time a potentially innocent person might spend waiting in jail or on death row. Government agencies, private businesses, and individuals with pending civil cases need prompt decisions to redress injury, resolve challenges to planned projects, obtain their disability benefits, or simply plan their futures.”

PREVIOUSLY: The 9th Circuit: Dangerously Out of Order

Also in favor of breaking up the circuit is another Republican appointee, Andrew Kleinfeld.

On Sen. Feinstein’s side, in favor of maintaining the court as is, are Democratic appointees Sidney Thomas (Clinton) and Mary Schroeder (Jimmy Carter). Thomas and Schroeder both said that technological advances now make it easier for the Ninth Circuit to do its work, and that the integrated technology makes it efficient to keep things as they are.

Five current bills to reorganize the Ninth Circuit, each at least slightly different from each other, are pending in Congress right now. O’Scannlain said “any of the proposals” to do so would be at least somewhat acceptable to him (he actually would prefer splitting the circuit not just into two parts but three), but that the current bill he most favors is one by Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, who hosted last week’s hearing in Phoenix. Tallman said he prefers the one offered by Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. The two bills differ on which circuit Washington State would belong to.

(Daines and Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan also introduced a separate bill, the Federal Court of Appeals Modernization Act, to establish a commission to study the caseloads of all the Courts of Appeals to see if any other changes are needed.)

Also last week, a group of about 150 interest groups, almost all of them liberal/leftist, sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee opposing any effort to split the Ninth Circuit – which, as a liberal bastion, of course they like very much as it is.

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  • Linda

    This would a good time to break up the court and let President Trump place a more conservative group of judges throughout the western states. There are still some conservatives you live in this area whose voices are completely drowned out the the communist views of this court.

    • Californiasailor

      Makes sense indeed…

  • richard black

    the ninth is a abomination to the US and the judiciary !!!

    • Jackalyn Morrison


      • richard black

        yes..its true !!!

    • richjack4

      With an 80% Supreme Court reversal rate, you think the judiciary would take care of monitoring it’s own!

      • richard black

        true !!!

    • Rob Longwood

      Breaking up the 9th Circuit

      Congress could break up the 9th in such a manner as to effectively destroy the liberal 9th’s power forever.

      First: Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands are currently part of the 9th Circuit. Move the 9th Circuit to Guam, and make the Northern Marianas Islands and Guam their only jurisdiction.

      Second: Break up the rest of the former 9th Circuit in such a manner as to forever keep the liberal coastal states in check.

      For instance the new 12th circuit based in Billings, Montana, includes Montana, Northern Idaho and Washington State.

      A new 13th Circuit based in Southern Idaho that includes the State of
      Oregon, and the District of Eastern California.

      A new 14th Circuit that is based in Alaska and includes Hawaii, and the District of Central California.

      A new 15th Circuit based in Nevada that includes the District of Northern California.

      Lastly a new 16th Circuit based in Arizona that includes the district of
      Southern California.

      Then after dividing the 9th Circuit in such a manner President Trump nominates all new judges for these new Appeals Courts, and picks people in the mold of Clarence Thomas, Scalia, Alito and now Gorsuch.

      Such a plan would makes these districts small enough in population to drastically ease wait times for appeals to be heard and would break the power of the 9th forever.

      There is one added benefit: Most of the current judges in the 9th Circuit would retire instead of being banished to Guam, and then they can be replaced as well.

      • Sabiya Hoffman

        Too much time and effort. Just build another wall!

        • Rob Longwood


      • Robert Olsen

        That 12th circuit includes Montana: about 1 mil. N. Idaho about 3 mil. Wash. St. About 5 mil. 9 mil. 4 one court. The 9th has 39 mil. in Kal. alone. Huge Imbalance!

      • Pete Braun

        We don’t need another Gorsuch or Scalia on the courts. Nor another Thomas or Alito. Garland was a far better choice than Gorsuch.
        If efficiency were the only reason for a reorganization, that would make sense. But an advance of the wingnut agenda? No way is that a valid answer.

        • Rob Longwood

          If you think that Garland was a good pick, then you are the “Wingnut!”

          • Pete Braun

            Only the right-wingers are wingnuts.

  • Stephen Griffith

    & the sooner the better, they have a thorn in the side for far to long. Than replace these Liberal Leftist Loonies with more Conservative Judges that will enforce the Laws already in place. Instead of the Liberal Propaganda that the Judges many from California, & other Liberal hot spots, seem to want to enforce according to their whims. & send these Communist Bozos to Russia to live with their Comrades! Return America by to “We The People”!

    • Robert Olsen

      Forget Russia, they would love it. Send em 2 N. Korea & Fat Boy. He would wash, rinse, & send em back folded like poor Otto Warmbier. Hopefully far worse.

    • You’re a bit behind the times; the Russian Federation is an industrialized Capitalist economy with a bit of European socialism tossed in. There ain’t no more comrades yonder – ‘tovarishch’ is out, ‘gospodin’ is back in (if anyone bothers in these casual times).

      They’ll have to be kicked over to Venezuela or some similar, social sinkhole. If the young, anti-Maduro bunch have any sense though, they’ll kick them right back out.

  • Alan Bowie

    It should not just be broken up or dissolved, the members should be prosecuted.

    • Jackalyn Morrison

      That sounds like a very good idea

    • R DoCdoWedo!

      Yes they should!

    • Robert Olsen

      By Kim jong un courts!

      • Alan Bowie

        It sounds good at first thought, but you have to remember it’s the 9th Circuit. Kim would likely teach them Korean and place them in his courts as judges.

  • Frank

    “The germ of dissolution of our Federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like a gravity by night and day, gaining little today and a little tomorrow, and ADVANCING ITS NOISELESS STEP LIKE A THIEF OVER THE FIELD OF JURISDICTION, UNTIL ALL SHALL BE USURPED.” Thomas Jefferson, August 18, 1821.

  • Ed

    The 9th is a disgrace to law, order and justice. Liberals, of which make up almost, if not all of, the court always rule in favor of anything that fosters Liberalism or Democrat goals. The politicization alone is enough reason to break it up and each new court established should have an equal number from the Left and Right to put some balance on decisions, instead of always being always one-sided, heavily biased, and wrong the majority of the time. No judges should be politicized and that should be reason to oust any judge from any bench. Judges are supposed to use the law, not feelings and compassion, in ruling. Organize it with the same number of judges as the Supreme Court; nine, with the odd justice casting a deciding vote in case of a tie. But it is imperative this court be shrunk in size and scope, and sanity and law are incorporated in all decisions.

    • Better stated whatever moves our country into the Democratic Fascist States of Crony destruction! Read Dinesh D’Souza’s new book “The Big Lie”, the real truth of the Democratic Nazi Party, they have hidden since WW2!

    • We also need to quit calling the Left Liberals, as they are nothing of the sort and have used that term against us for years! They are Fascist, Marxist Democrats who have more in common with Nazi Germany, Communist China and Russia, than Free Market Liberals!

  • Betty

    GO GO GO About time this excuse for law is broken up as it rule by their feelings not the law of the land. They should be barred from practicing law.

  • Estoban

    Give the ninth only Hawaii. make 4 new courts to divide the other states into. Make sure all new courts are Constitutionalism members.

    • copakeman

      Why punish the people of Hawaii ? Give the 9th an uninhabited section of the Pacific Ocean and do not ever make new judicial appointments to the 9th.

      • Estoban

        that works.

        • nocbsfan

          That works good

      • Fed up!

        Come on Hawaii is a douche bag of liberals.

        • Robert Olsen

          They make VT.& MA look middle-right.

        • And why not, every Communist convicted before 1960 was banished to Hawaii, to include Barry’s daddy Frank Marshall Davis and his grandparents the Dunham’s. All card carrying Communists. Hawaii is also the home of the Mormon Churches Archives of hope! So I agree give Hawaii to the Ninth Communist Court of Appeals, as they are Peers!

  • no dilliger

    split it yesterday ,before they screw more lives over

  • Richard M

    A bastion of left wing loons”

  • Jack

    “O’Scannlain, however, said the court’s ideology should not factor into a decision about its reorganization.”

    The courts in this country are supposed to have no ideology (I know, that is a pipe dream, but really!) and they are supposed to be laser focused on the Constitution, not on social activism.

    • Seems it depends on who pays for their Law Degree and where they got that degree, as to whether they rule by the Constitution, or by Marxist Precedent! But do agree they should all be Impeached, if Democrats did not rule the Judiciary!!!

  • True Blue American

    Here in California, we have known this for years!
    Maybe for the first time ever, I thank Sen. Feinstein! I thank her for the levity! Since when has she been concerned about “wasting taxpayer dollars” ?

  • Clete Tacker

    That circus court has been run by ideology and law making from the bench for far too long, time to split up the anti-constitution behemoth.

  • what recovery

    The ninth circuit court of appeals must be broken up and made smaller. A few in black robes have to much power over the entire nation, This should be antitrust as a few dominate.

  • dennis cheever

    All the US courts are only judicial in name only. Money wields all power on justice.

  • Harvey Mitterdorf

    Breaking up the circuit is not the proper solution to the problem; although that should be done, too. The best solution is to impeach the judges who go against the original intention of the Constitution.

  • Tim Wilde

    Activist judges have no place in our justice system!! Remove all of them!!

  • JCluvsTrump

    Break it up into about 5 more courts. Oh, and throw the current members in jail. Pelican Bay to be precise.

  • Sueja

    Split it up

  • ImOffendedTreatMeSpecial

    I thought it was the 9th Circus?

  • Karll

    All the predominately leftist judicial groups need to be dealt with.

  • James

    Could the result be a clone of the “Nutty Ninth” ?

  • Born Again Southern Pride

    “The court overall also has a reputation as the most liberal in the country, far outside the judicial mainstream, and it consistently ranks among the circuit courts whose decisions are most often reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Critics say the Ninth Circuit reversals often comprise some of the most spectacularly wrong or even absurd rulings of any in the country, and conservatives often say the court’s leftism is another good reason to break it into smaller courts and isolate the liberals in California.”

    This is the reason the 9th circuit MUST BE BROKEN UP. They are not there for activism, they are there to rule on the Constitution AS WRITTEN, not based on some crock of horscht they dream up. Once it is broken, all of the judges can be replaced enmasse. Some of them aught to be tried and sent to prison for subjugating the Constitution.

  • R DoCdoWedo!

    spite the Ninth court up, they are getting to big for there britches they think they are better then President Trump. Cut them DOWN?

  • lucifer

    It will be welcomed news for the folks that live under the tentacles of that ” Circus “. This so called court, legislates from the bench, is past time to get an overhaul. They need to follow the law period. Thank You.

    • Yarbles

      Thank you, Prince of Darkness.

      My only question is when are they going to stop talking about it and actually DO something?

      Maybe you could make them a ‘deal’ they can’t refuse?

      • lucifer

        Yarbles the whole thing hands around the neck of the ” Do Nothing Congress “, being said, this Congress has an infight on both sides that will actually get nothing done. That is why 2018 is a good opportunity to get fresh folks in there from your favorite party if you have one, Me I gave up, too many corrupt politicians. Thank You.

        • Problem with Congress is that they have already violated the First Amendment to the Constitution, when they established Secular Humanism as the State funded Religion of the USA! So anything they do would one expose their past treachery and two force them to undue the Funding for Education, Museums, Zoo’s and other institutions of Religious Indoctrination created, by the Deep State! This is why Congress refuses to pass a real Budget and will not allow Freshman Reps, to have any input for 2yrs! It is high time that Congress faced millions of Lawsuits, for their violation of the Establishment clause! Then Harvard, Stanford and the other Elite Law schools in the country would lose all the Taxpayer Subsidies, they’ve enjoyed for over a century! Who knows they might even have to close, unless they go back to teaching our Constitution as the Law of our land!!!

          • lucifer

            Mr. Christikido, thank you for your analysis and informative segment of what’s behind the reluctance of Congress to act. Gives me a clear insight that We are fighting the same folks that We elect. So We do not have any representation, So why vote is my question. Thank You.

          • Thanks oh dark one. Simple we vote because we have hope beyond our own understanding. And we vote for our leaders since it is our GOD given responsibility to influence our culture in a positive way. We are given examples in the lives of Joseph and Daniel, who were Godly men thrust into ungodly cultures, but influenced them for the betterment of those pagan societies. We as the chosen of GOD have the ultimate responsibility to make His way known, to those who know Him not and to choose wise and prudent leaders! If we don’t stand then we entrust our future and the future of our children to wicked men in high places and that is not what GOD intended! If you Love something you lay down your life for it! Have a Great Day oh Angel of Light and Praise!!

          • lucifer

            Thank you for that great response!! Taking in consideration the promises of some of these leaders before the election cycle, and then after being elected they turn around and do exactly the opposite of what they promised us because their hands are tied down to the ” Elites ” that run congress. Like I told my wife, the Lord’s hand change the outcome of the past election. But the work is not over. The only way that the country can go in the right direction is to clean DC? And that means the lobbying organizations that are the corruption of the nation and most of the political members in both Houses of Congress? That won’t be easy. Something that you and I cannot do. BUT, what I did is that I gave the Korea, and the Congress problem to the one that can fix it. The ” Lord “. Thank You.

          • Amen! It’s also getting easier to expose the Hypocrisy in Congress and Political hacks that have had the Media to cover their corruption! Great Conversation Have a Blessed Day!

  • Wenda Kennedy

    As a citizen of the Alaska, I totally support breaking up this monolithic power base!

  • Mike Jackson


  • jcrawdad

    Conservative Judges, Congressmen Want to Break Up Far-Left 9th Circuit

    I thought Trump was in on that too. I understood He was wanting to divided them and add a couple more judges . Brake up the control they have , into three or Four different Courts .

  • therealworld

    A group of Hairless Monkey’s would do a better job than the 9th does now. Break it up

  • Jmanjo

    The Ninth is a court of liberal prostitutes selling out for every stupid liberal cause that crawls by!

  • Fed up!

    Break up the 9th circuit, send some Judges to the remote part of Alaska, some to the remote parts of the bayou. They either freeze to death, or sweat to death. Teach those liberals a little what they put Americans through.

  • Gregg Parker

    Figures Die Ann Franken-Fine-stein would jump to the aid of these progressive legislators. They make rulings on whatever the pedophile shadow government tells them to make. Legal or not they just rule! Tar and feathers for them too!! Trump Akbar!!

  • kassa1

    I agree it should be broke up as it is nothing but a cesspool of corruption and evil. The stench from the ninth circuit court is overwhelming.

  • Rolpho Signetti

    Break it up now! Have the judges be put on standby to relocate to the new state of North Koralina, after Trumps flattens that little whipper snapper Kim jun wing bung! That will give them plenty of lemmings that will follow them! And.. take the alt-left with youse!

  • Kenneth Jones

    Splitting the 9th should’ve been done years ago. It’s not only a good idea; it’s the smart thing to do.


    The 9th has been a thorn in the side of America for the past 8 years. obama set this one up all by himself. This court has ruled un Constitutionally for some time now. It is due some serious change. Of course that’s up to the Trump administration. Let’s see how many judges need to be confirmed? Priority one! Remove once and for all these liberal / communist judges!

  • hermane brumit

    do away with all 9th circuit court , all there is libs

  • Jerry Kimbro

    Do something to the 9th, they are trying to finish what Obummer started, (destroying the USA)!

  • temporary guest

    Anything that will break up the leftist judicial, activistic, pontificating, anti-US Constitutional insane monopoly of enforced, anti-American stupidity of the 9th communist wannabe circus court , I’m all for it. In fact, it’s a loooong time overdue.

  • Peace Keeper

    The 9th Circuit is composed of a bunch of Liberal hacks! Break it up because they are reversed most of the time but that takes time and cost money…

  • Robert Shapiro

    “O’Scannlain, however, said the court’s ideology should not factor into a decision about its reorganization.”

    Wrong! The 9th’s record of ridiculous rulings and ruling percentage overturns is important. A reorganization needs to be done, and it should include dropping judges who are outside what the Supreme Court rules. If a judge votes and more than 50% of appeals get overturned, that – to me – qualifies as Bad Conduct or Incompetence, both of which are reasons to get rid of judges. 80%? It’s past time to bounce some of these lousy judges.

  • Fienstein should butt her nose out of the court system and worry about taking care of bankrupt Cal.

  • Mad Scientist

    The Ninth is not the most overturned circuit for no reason.

  • Willie the 6’snake in the barn

    BREAK up the 9TH CIRCUS. They have TOO much power.


    The ninth circuit court and the 29 pigs that run it are all controlled and owned by the Democratic party

  • Garys_opinion

    God idea, they don’t rule on law but on their personal inclinations. The 9th circuit has become totally politicized.

  • Terry Maloney

    The ninth circuit court needs to be broken up into as many parts as it has judges. Then President Trump can fill the open spots with conservative judges and we can get some decent judgements from that part of the country.

  • Dan

    just another crooked jerk politician in a robe.

  • myfordtruck

    break it up and get rid of a lot of the judges replace them with judges that go by the law and the Constitution

  • Robert Olsen

    This Court should have been broken up decades ago. More foot dragging 4 a Court that will be reversed consistently with a 5-4 SCOTUS & a 6-3 or 7-2 court before 2020. Kennedy & Ginsburg won’t last 3.5 more years. If Trump is re-elected, it’s a given.

    • KKmoderate

      Ginsburg is not really “lasting” as we speak. Right now she’s just a place holder😂

  • gdonna612

    All these little “self-important” judges are trying to make law from the bench!

  • Irredeemably Deplorable

    Of course those hoping to keep the 9th circuit from being split would fight for it. The 9th circuit is overwhelmingly leftist and impacts a very large territory. All to the benefit of the leftists who still want to control the world (while unable to manage their own little corners).

    And, of course, there is the fact that President Trump will be heavily involved in the restructuring. Thus giving him massive influence the left doesn’t want him to have.

    Most likely going to happen. It’s time and it’s in the best interest of the United States of America. Something the left cares absolutely nothing about.

  • Outrider

    This court circus needs to be broken up, abolished, sent into exile etc. The ninth is described by other judges in other districts as the quacks and kooks circuit and a disgrace to juris prudence.

  • DeadToad

    Great idea The 9th circuit is an embarrassing disgrace. Most people don’t know there are three patent offices in the United States. The ninth circuit controls two of them San Francisco and Palo Alto that’s 2/3s of us patents are controlled in the 9th circuit. Even worse the two patent offices are less than a hundred miles apart. Why isn’t one of those patent offices located in the Midwest as there are no patent offices in the Midwest at all. Perhaps move one patent office out of the 9th circuit to Austin Texas the 5th district. The only patent office outside of the 9th circuit is in Washington DC.

  • godsonnzeh

    We the Texans want to get out of the 9TH CIRCUIT Please!

  • jjmcl431

    sounds good to me. almost 90% of the judges are liberals and vote , not judge, along party lines aka the liberal Democrat Party.

  • Dulcie A. Covington

    The Nutty Ninth,should have been broken up years ago

  • Louie Rey

    Why not? When 84% of that circuit court’s decisions are overturned on appeal the question is why are they even there in the first place?

  • Stephen Kirtland

    With a re-organization, we should be able to get some new, Trump appointed, judges. Maybe we could stop the liberals from making law from the bench, without congress.

  • Alan Bowie

    We have to wait until after the trial, to be fair.

  • Mike Jackson