ABA Annual Meeting

Efforts to split the 9th Circuit opposed by the ABA House of Delegates

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9th Circuit

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Updated: On Monday, the ABA House of Delegates voted to oppose splitting the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Instead, "technological and procedural innovations" should be used to efficiently handle the court's large caseload.

President Donald Trump had criticized the 9th Circuit and called for its breakup, the Sacramento Bee reports. “I think that circuit is—that circuit is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil,” Trump said in February.

The president also gave an April interview to the Washington Examiner, saying: “There are many people that want to break up the Ninth Circuit. It’s outrageous.”

Trump’s opinion was not echoed on the floor of the House of Delegates, where no requests to speak in favor of splitting the court were made.

Instead, delegates Michael H. Reed of Pennsylvania and James Williams of the King County Bar Association spoke against splitting the 9th Circuit. Reed said that to accomplish the benefits predicted by a leading academic proponent of splitting the circuit, California would have to be split into two circuits, something that the academic conceded.

Williams said that there were three major reasons for the ABA to oppose the circuit split: Judges in the 9th Circuit don’t want it; lawyers in the 9th Circuit don’t want it; and businesses don’t want it.

The voice vote was overwhelmingly in favor of approving Resolution 104 to oppose the split.

Follow along with our full coverage of the 2017 ABA Annual Meeting.

Updated on Aug. 16 to more accurately reflect Michael H. Reed’s statement.

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