HJR 30: Relating to the creation of a new United States Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit.
00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 30 01 Relating to the creation of a new United States Court of Appeals for the Twelfth 02 Circuit. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the State of Alaska is within the jurisdiction of the United States Court 05 of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and 06 WHEREAS the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit consists of the States of 07 Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington and 08 the federal territories, possessions, and protectorates in the Pacific; and 09 WHEREAS United States Senators Stevens and Murkowski of Alaska, Senators Craig 10 and Kempthorne of Idaho, Senator Smith of Oregon, and Senator Gorton of Washington have 11 introduced S. 431, a bill that would amend Title 28 of the United States Code to divide the 12 Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit into two circuits, and that has the short title of the 13 "Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reorganization Act of 1997"; and 14 WHEREAS S. 431 proposes to remove the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon,
01 and Washington from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and place them in a new 02 Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit to be headquartered in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, 03 Washington; and 04 WHEREAS S. 431 would make each circuit judge of the Court of Appeals for the 05 Ninth Circuit whose duty station is in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington a 06 circuit judge of the new Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit; and 07 WHEREAS the membership of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is heavily 08 weighted toward the State of California and the court seems to concern itself predominately 09 with issues arising out of California and the southwestern United States; and 10 WHEREAS the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's case filings in 1995 were 11 greater than any other federal circuit and in 1996 were the second greatest; and 12 WHEREAS the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit serves a population of more 13 than 45,000,000 people, well over one-third more than any other federal circuit; and 14 WHEREAS members of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have shown a 15 surprising lack of understanding of Alaska's people and geography that has resulted in 16 decisions that have often caused the people of Alaska unnecessary hardship; and 17 WHEREAS, in the so-called "Katie John" subsistence case, which is of tremendous 18 importance to the people of the State of Alaska, even though the Court of Appeals for the 19 Ninth Circuit granted expedited consideration of that case, the court did not issue its decision 20 for over 13 months; and 21 WHEREAS Attorney General Bruce Botelho estimates that there are more than 200 22 Alaska cases currently pending before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and 23 WHEREAS the Attorneys General of the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and 24 Washington have also found previously that similar issues of unnecessary delay concerning, 25 lack of understanding of, and lack of consideration for cases and issues by the Court of 26 Appeals for the Ninth Circuit exist in regard to those states; and 27 WHEREAS the Attorneys General of the States of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, 28 and Washington endorsed S. 965, introduced in the previous Congress to create a new Twelfth 29 Circuit Court of Appeals and the forerunner to S. 431; and 30 WHEREAS the creation of a new Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit 31 encompassing the States of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington by S. 431 would
01 benefit these similar states by providing speedier and more consistent rulings by jurists who 02 have a greater familiarity with the social, geographical, political, and economic life of the 03 region; 04 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports creation of a new Court 05 of Appeals for the Twelfth Circuit for the States of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and 06 Washington headquartered in the Pacific Northwest; and respectfully requests the United States 07 Congress to act in an expeditious manner. 08 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President 09 of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Strom Thurmond, 10 President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. 11 House of Representatives; the Honorable Trent Lott, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the 12 Honorable Dick Armey, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable 13 Thomas Daschle, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Richard A. Gephardt, 14 Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, Chair 15 of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary; the Honorable Henry J. Hyde, Chair of the 16 U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable 17 Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, 18 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.