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H.R. 6754 - Court Imbalance Restructure Concerning Updates to Impacted Tribunals Act of 2018

Introduced: 2018-09-10
Bill Status: Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 16 - 5.
 
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115th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6754


    To amend title 28, United States Code, to modify the structure of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 10, 2018

    Mr. Issa (for himself and Mr. Goodlatte) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

    To amend title 28, United States Code, to modify the structure of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Court Imbalance Restructure Concerning Updates to Impacted Tribunals Act of 2018” or the “CIRCUIT Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Divisions of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

(a) Establishment of divisions.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Chapter 3 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

§ 50. Divisions of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

“(a) In general.—The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is divided into four divisions to be known as the Northern, Middle, Southern, and Circuit Divisions as follows:

“(1) NORTHERN DIVISION.—The Northern Division comprises the judicial districts of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Eastern Washington, and Western Washington.

“(2) MIDDLE DIVISION.—The Middle Division comprises the judicial districts of Eastern California, Northern California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

“(3) SOUTHERN DIVISION.—The Southern Division comprises the judicial districts of Arizona, Central California, and Southern California.

“(4) CIRCUIT DIVISION.—The Circuit Division comprises all judicial districts within the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“(b) Circuits in which decisions reviewable.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in sections 1292(c), 1292(d), and 1295, appeals from reviewable decisions of the district and territorial courts embraced in the Ninth Circuit shall be taken to the division of the court of appeals for the division embracing the district.

“(2) CIRCUIT DIVISION.—The following appeals shall be taken to the Circuit Division:

“(A) Appeals of final agency actions.

“(B) Appeals from the United States Tax Court.

“(C) Appeals from another division of the court in the case that 2 or more divisions have made final decisions on a matter of law that conflict.

“(D) Appeals from another division in the case that such division has denied an application for a rehearing en banc with respect to the matter appealed.

“(c) Assignment of judges.—The judges appointed to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit shall serve among the divisions as follows:

“(1) Except for the Circuit Division, eleven judges shall serve on each division.

“(2) The Circuit Division shall be composed of the chief judge, and 4 judges randomly selected from each other division. Except with regard to the chief judge, and initial assignments to the Circuit Division, each judge serving on the Circuit Division shall serve for non-renewable 3-year term. With regard to initial appointments, of the judges assigned to serve on the Circuit Division, 4 judges shall be assigned for 1 year, 4 judges shall be assigned for 2 years, and 4 judges shall be assigned for 3 years, which assignments shall be made on a random basis.

“(3) In the case that a judge serving on the Circuit Division is recused, another judge serving on the division of that judge’s regional division may serve in the place of the judge who is recused.

“(4) Section 45 shall apply with respect to—

“(A) the designation of the chief judge of the circuit; and

“(B) the designation of the presiding judge in each division, as though the division were a court of appeals.

“(d) Panels; hearings; quorum.—Section 46 shall apply to each division as though the division were a court of appeals. Section 6 of Public Law 95–486 (28 U.S.C. 41 note) shall not apply to the divisions established under this section.

“(e) Clerks and employees.—Section 711 shall apply to each division as though the division were a court of appeals.

“(f) Precedent.—Except with respect to a decision of a Circuit Division described in subsection (b)(2)(C), the decision of one division is not binding on other divisions.”.

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of sections for chapter 3 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item related to section 49 the following:

“50. Divisions of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. ”.

(b) Conforming amendments.—Section 1294 of title 28, United States Code, is amended—

(1) by inserting after “sections” the following “50”; and

(2) by striking paragraph (4).

(c) Reports.—

(1) FEDERAL JUDICIAL CENTER REPORT.—Not later than 8 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Judicial Center shall conduct a study on the effectiveness and the efficiency of the divisions of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and submit to the Judicial Conference of the United States a report which includes the results of the study, and information related to the activities of the divisions.

(2) JUDICIAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES RECOMMENDATIONS.—Not later than one year after receiving the report under paragraph (1), the Judicial Conference of the United States shall submit to Congress recommendations related to the divisional structure of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, including whether such structure should be continued with or without modification.

SEC. 3. Circuit judges for the circuit courts of appeals.

(a) In general.—The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 5 additional circuit judges for the ninth circuit court of appeals.

(b) Tables.—ln order that the table contained in section 44 of title 28, United States Code, will, with respect to each judicial circuit, reflect the changes in the total number of permanent circuit judgeships authorized as a result of subsection (a) of this section, such table is amended to read as follows:


CircuitsNumber of Judges
District of Columbia11
First6
Second13
Third14
Fourth15
Fifth17
Sixth16
Seventh11
Eighth11
Ninth34
Tenth12
Eleventh12
Federal12 ”.


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