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  Congress looks at dividing 9th Circuit court
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ContributorJ.R. 
Last EditedJ.R.  Nov 16, 2005 05:21pm
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MediaTV News - CNN
News DateWednesday, November 16, 2005 11:20:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionWASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department is backing efforts by congressional Republicans to split up the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's largest federal appeals court and the frequent source of anti-Bush administration rulings.

"The department believes that dividing the 9th Circuit would improve the administration of justice," Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella wrote in a letter released Tuesday by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, an advocate of breaking up the San Francisco-based circuit.

Sensenbrenner's legislation would create a 9th Circuit covering California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, and a new 12th Circuit covering Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona. A Senate bill by Ensign and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would accomplish the same split.

Republicans have long sought to break up the 9th Circuit. The GOP-led House last year approved a split, but the measure did not get a vote in the Senate.
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