Dem: GOP pushing ‘judicial gerrymandering’

Dem: GOP pushing ‘judicial gerrymandering’
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) says Republicans who want to split the California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals into two courts are trying to engage in “judicial gerrymandering.”

Nadler defended the court during a Thursday hearing in a House Judiciary subcommittee about proposals to split the 9th Circuit into two courts, creating a new 12th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

“Like clockwork, we see proposals to split up the 9th Circuit whenever it delivers a controversial decision with which conservatives disagree,” he said, a day after a federal district judge in Hawaii temporarily blocked President Trump’s revised travel ban nationwide.

Hawaii is one of several states in the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction. The court last month upheld an order from a federal district judge in Washington blocking Trump’s initial order.

Nadler called it “highly inappropriate” to manipulate the court in order to get a certain opinion. 

“Just as there is a nationwide movement to end legislative gerrymandering, we should resist this form of judicial gerrymandering as well,” he said.

Republicans in the House and Senate have offered bills to split the court into two separate Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Republicans say the court — which covers California, Arizona, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands — has become too big to be effective.

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzHouse Oversight slams TSA after report says officials 'interfered' in disciplinary case Gowdy steps down from Ethics Committee, citing 'challenging workload' Criminal referrals by members of Congress raise procedural questions MORE (R-Utah) said the decisions coming out of the 9th Circuit are “infuriating.”

“To look to the 9th Circuit, to see people say, ‘Well there’s 70 people here we have to protect and 80 people here,’ what about protecting the United States of America?” he asked.

“It’s the 9th Circuit that is causing these problems and taking away the duties that the Judiciary Committee, the Congress has given to the President of the United States to protect our borders.”

The Thursday hearing was held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.