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Bill for New Federal Judgeships

Senators Leahy and Coons have introduced a bill to add a bunch of new judgeships.  These two eastern Senators seem to be particularly interested in adding new judges in the West.  Of the 65 new permanent district court judgeships, 21 of them are in California.  Of the five new, permanent Court of Appeals judgeships, four are in the Ninth Circuit.

The workload may well warrant expansion, but it is pretty scary to consider the prospect of Barack Obama nominating this many judges to courts that are already listing so far to the left as to take on water.  There was a big expansion during the Carter Administration, and the cohort of Carter nominees are largely the ones responsible for the well-earned nickname "the Ninth Circus."  Carter's truly dismal appointments haunt us to this day.

In the late 1970s, Republicans were so weak in Congress that they were unable to stop this disaster.  Today, they have a majority in the House of Representatives.  If this bill passes the Senate, it should be DOA in the House.  We should not forget history or condemn the next generation to a repeat.

So what to do about overloaded federal courts?  Let's have fewer federal questions to be litigated. 

Update:  Todd Ruger at NLJ (subscription required) has this article headlined "Hail Mary Pass for Judgeships."  "It's been years since Congress created more federal judge positions, and the latest proposal seeking to make up for lost time appears as quixotic as it is ambitious."

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