Washington Law Review


Carl Tobias


In December 1998, the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals issued a report and recommendations for Congress and the President. The commission resulted from ongoing controversy over splitting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The commissioners clearly suggested that the circuit remain intact but proposed three regionally based adjudicative divisions for the appeals court. However, the commission did not adduce persuasive empirical evidence that the Ninth Circuit experiences difficulties that are sufficiently problematic to warrant treatment, particularly with the essentially untested divisional arrangement. Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit should continue to experiment with promising measures.

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