By Rick Oltman, March 1, 2018
The Supreme Court has decided to avoid the DACA disaster for now. And rather than review a lower court’s ruling, have the legal battle fought out in that lower court, in this case, the notorious Ninth District Court of Appeals, which ordered the Trump Administration on January 9 of this year to maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
It was a long shot to appeal directly to the Supremes after the lower court’s ruling. SCOTUS rarely grants such requests. So it’s now back to the drawing board for the administration.
It seemed to many of us laymen that if an illegal Executive Order by President Barack Obama, who created DACA with an executive order, was allowed to stand, (the Executive doesn’t make laws, Congress does), then an executive order by President Trump ending the program would be allowed to do just that. But no! So we continue to watch the DACA drama play out in this election year.
However, this does bring up an important issue that really needs attention, not just for this amnesty issue, but for all future legal considerations, and that is creating a new Court of Appeals District.
There are 13 United States Courts of Appeals, not all numbered. The Ninth Circuit is by far the largest geographically, with a population of 61,742,908. That is almost 20% of the population of the entire country, and it has a mere 29 judges. The nation’s smallest court, the D.C. Circuit, has 11 judges compared to the Ninth Circuit, which has a population over 100 times larger.
Congress could split the Ninth Circuit into two districts, with the Ninth continuing to preside over California, its headquarters remaining in San Francisco, and create a new court, the “Thirteenth Circuit,” which would then cover Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands with its headquarters in Seattle. Averaging out the judges would give the new Ninth Circuit 23 judges, and the new “Thirteenth Circuit” 15, requiring nine new judicial appointments by the president.
It would appear that with the current Ninth Circuit being one of the most overturned circuits in the land, the presiding judges there now are not that good at understanding the law. Appointing some judges who actually know the law might improve their batting record and give the litigants a timely legal decision that actually comports with the law.
And leaving the Ninth Circuit to preside exclusively over California, only seems fitting and ironic to many observers.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
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