Too Big to Hail: Why We Need to Split Up the Ninth Circuit
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Some may say that at the rate law schools are churning them out, there will be more lawyers than humans by 2050. While this little population “prediction” does provide a nice laugh, it also speaks to the increasingly litigious nature of American society in recent times. Americans, in general, respect the rule of law, but they are also becoming increasingly involved with it in a variety of fields and topics. Thus, it should be alarming to Americans that justice is not being properly dispensed everywhere in the country. The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals appears as an anomaly in the judicial system. Spanning from Arizona to Alaska and from Montana to Guam, the Ninth Circuit jumps off the map when compared to other circuits. It encompasses the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii; the territory of Guam; and the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Roll 2007, 109). It covers more states (nine) than any other circuit with one of them, California, being the most populous state in the nation and two, Arizona and Nevada, among the fastest growing states. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Ninth Circuit houses close to a fifth of the population with around 60 million people on about forty percent of the country’s land (Roll 2007, 110).