Fairbanks Daily News Miner: Sens. Sullivan and Murkowski author bill to create new Twelfth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski have authored a bill that would create a new Twelfth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals out of seven states currently part of the Ninth Circuit.

“The Judicial Efficiency Improvement Act will help reduce the Ninth Circuit’s unmanageable caseload, which has resulted in years of backlogs, delays, and frustration. A new Twelfth Circuit will better serve Alaskans and other Western states,” Murkowski said in a release from her office.

The Ninth Circuit is the most populous appeals court circuit with more than 67 million people, or about 20% of the country, according to 2020 census data. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan oversees the circuit with 29 other judges.

The proposed Twelfth Circuit of Appeals would include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. While California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Mariana Islands would stay in the Ninth Circuit.

The new circuit would be based in Seattle and served by 13 judges.

The bill would also add two judges to the Ninth Circuit, for a total of 18 judges.

The U.S. Court of Appeals is considered the second most powerful court in the county, below only the U.S. Supreme Court.

By:  Carter DeJong
Source: Fairbanks Daily News Miner