Judicial Conference asks Congress for 57 new US judgeships, including five on this appeals court

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9th Circuit

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

The Judicial Conference of the United States is recommending that Congress create 57 new Article III judgeships, including five new judgeships for the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The recommendation was approved on Tuesday, two days before a congressional hearing on whether to split the 9th Circuit, report the Hill and the Recorder (sub. req.). The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet is considering the proposal by U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., which would create a 12th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to cover Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

The last time Congress adopted comprehensive legislation to create new judgeships was more than 26 years ago, according to a press release. Appellate filings have increased 40 percent, and district court filings have grown 38 percent since enactment of the last comprehensive judgeship bill. How Appealing links to the list of proposed judgeships (PDF) by jurisdiction.

Eight temporary district court judgeships also would be converted to permanent status under the Judicial Conference proposal. The five proposed 9th Circuit judgeships are the only appellate-level recommendations.

The Judicial Conference recommendation notes low case filings in the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and in the District of Wyoming, and asks that Congress not fill the next vacancies in those courts as a result. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is a 10th Circuit judge.

The Judicial Conference also voted to make judicial financial disclosure reports available on thumb drive at no charge. Those who ask for paper copies of the reports still will be charged 20 cents per page.

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