Hopeful news, a bipartisan Federal Judgeship bill may be attached to the pending Corona-virus legislation

Above link is to my December 2019 thread on this subject.

https://www.courthousenews.com/senators-urge-addition-of-judgeships-as-caseloads-balloon/

Senators Graham and Feinstein have signed on to including a comprehensive Federal Judgeship bill as part of the pending Corona-virus package. This would be an excellent development if they can pull it off.

The new Judgeships would match the recommendations of the Judicial Conference of the United States and would be effective at noon on January 20, 2021, meaning that nobody knows whether Trump or Biden would be making the appointments.

New Judgeships are needed desperately. No comprehensive Judgeship bill has been enacted since 1990 and no Judgeship bill of any kind has been enacted since 2002.

The new Judgeships would be as follows:

SEC. 102. CIRCUIT JUDGES FOR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate—

(1) 5 additional circuit judges for the ninth circuit court of appeals.

SEC. 103 DISTRICT JUDGES FOR THE DISTRICT COURTS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate—

(1) 4 additional district judges for the district of Arizona;

(2) 9 additional district judges for the central district of California;

(3) 5 additional district judges for the eastern district of California;

(4) 4 additional district judges for the northern district of California;

(5) 4 additional district judges for the southern district of California;

(6) 2 additional district judges for the district of Colorado;

(7) 1 additional district judge for the district of Delaware;

(8) 6 additional district judges for the middle district of Florida;

(9) 1 additional district judge for the northern district of Florida;

(10) 3 additional district judges for the southern district of Florida;

(11) 1 additional district judge for the northern district of Georgia;

(12) 1 additional district judge for the district of Idaho;

(13) 2 additional district judges for the southern district of Indiana;

(14) 1 additional district judge for the northern district of Iowa;

(15) 1 additional district judge for the district of Nevada;

(16) 4 additional district judges for the district of New Jersey;

(17) 1 additional district judge for the district of New Mexico;

(18) 2 additional district judges for the eastern district of New York;

(19) 1 additional district judge for the southern district of New York;

(20) 1 additional district judge for the western district of New York;

(21) 1 additional district judge for the district of Puerto Rico;

(22) 2 additional district judges for the eastern district of Texas;

(23) 2 additional district judges for the southern district of Texas;

(24) 6 additional district judges for the western district of Texas.

(Note: Because of a Supreme Court decision relating to venue in patent cases that was decided after the latest Judgeship proposal was developed, one or both of the Judgeships proposed to be created for the Eastern District of Texas might instead be assigned to the District of Delaware, as the previously heavy patent caseload in EDTX has mostly transferred to D. Del.)

I strongly support both the Judgeship bill and the timing of the Judgeship bill. By passing it during a heavily contested election, both for the Presidency and also for the Senate which must confirm nominations, all appearances of court packing are eliminated. I simply insist that Congress adhere to the request of the Judicial Conference, asking guidance in the matter of EDTX vs D. Del. from the Judicial Conference.

This bill would create a total of 70 new Judgeships, 5 Circuit and 65 District.

For historical comparison, Judgeship bills of the past:

(The numbers below reflect Circuit Judgeships + District Judgeships.)

1960 - 82
1966 - 51
1970 - 58
1978 - 152
1984 - 85
1990 - 85
1999 - 9
2000 - 10
2003 - 15

It looks like the committee is moving ahead with the Judgeship bill, which would be tacked onto the Corona-virus legislation.

Here is my proposed legislation regarding judgeships. Note that one or both of the Judgeships proposed to be created in the Eastern District of Texas may need to be shifted to the District of Delaware for the reasons explained in the OP.

My proposed bill is below.

It does the following:

  1. Creates all 70 of the requested Judgeships.

  2. The Judicial Conference requested 8 of the 10 current temporary Judgeships be made permanent. My proposed legislation makes all 10 permanent. (The two temporary Judgeships they didn’t request were the Northern District of Alabama and the District of Hawaii.)

  3. It eliminates the last four obsolete multi-district Judgeships, 1 in Kentucky, 2 in Missouri and 1 in Oklahoma, assigning each of those Judgeships to serve a single district only.

  4. The new Judgeships do not become effective until noon on January 20, 2021, meaning that the President elected in 2020 will be solely responsible for appointing those new Judgeships. Could be Trump or Biden. Additionally, control of the Senate will be in jeopardy in the 2020 elections. This provision is intended to alleviate any concerns of court packing. Assuming, of course, that this bill was passed PRIOR to the November General Election. Both parties would essentially agree, in passing this bill, to roll the dice as to whether they or their opponents would be appointing the new Judges.

  5. Finally, it authorizes all necessary appropriations required for the new Judgeships, though the actual appropriations would be done separately under the normal appropriations process.

A Bill

To provide for the appointment of additional Federal circuit and district judges, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

This act may be cited as the “Federal Judgeship Act of 2020”.

SEC. 2. CIRCUIT JUDGES FOR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate—

(1) 5 additional circuit judges for the ninth circuit court of appeals.

(b) TABLES.—In order that the table contained in section 44(a) of title 28, United States Code, will, with respect to each judicial circuit, reflect the changes in the total number of permanent circuit judgeships authorized as a result of subsection (a) of this section, such table is amended to read as follows:

(Table deleted for brevity)

© The initial duty stations for the judgeships created by this section shall be as follows:

(1) 3 in California;

(2) 1 in Arizona;

(3) 1 in Idaho.

(d) This section shall take effect at noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2021.

SEC. 3 DISTRICT JUDGES FOR THE DISTRICT COURTS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate—

(1) 4 additional district judges for the district of Arizona;

(2) 9 additional district judges for the central district of California;

(3) 5 additional district judges for the eastern district of California;

(4) 4 additional district judges for the northern district of California;

(5) 4 additional district judges for the southern district of California;

(6) 2 additional district judges for the district of Colorado;

(7) 1 additional district judge for the district of Delaware;

(8) 6 additional district judges for the middle district of Florida;

(9) 1 additional district judge for the northern district of Florida;

(10) 3 additional district judges for the southern district of Florida;

(11) 1 additional district judge for the northern district of Georgia;

(12) 1 additional district judge for the district of Idaho;

(13) 2 additional district judges for the southern district of Indiana;

(14) 1 additional district judge for the northern district of Iowa;

(15) 1 additional district judge for the district of Nevada;

(16) 4 additional district judges for the district of New Jersey;

(17) 1 additional district judge for the district of New Mexico;

(18) 2 additional district judges for the eastern district of New York;

(19) 1 additional district judge for the southern district of New York;

(20) 1 additional district judge for the western district of New York;

(21) 1 additional district judge for the district of Puerto Rico;

(22) 2 additional district judges for the eastern district of Texas;

(23) 2 additional district judges for the southern district of Texas;

(24) 6 additional district judges for the western district of Texas.

(b) EXISTING JUDGESHIPS.—(1) The existing district judgeships for the northern district of Alabama, the district of Arizona, the central district of California, the southern district of Florida, the district of Hawaii, the district of Kansas, the eastern district of Missouri, the district of New Mexico, the western district of North Carolina and the eastern district of Texas authorized by Public Law 115-31 and 128 Stat. 2351 shall be, as of the effective date of this section, authorized under section 133 of title 28, United States Code, and the incumbents in those offices shall hold the office under section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this section.

(2)(A) The existing district judgeship for the eastern and western districts of Kentucky (provided by section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date of this act) shall be a district judgeship for the eastern district of Kentucky only, and the incumbent of such judgeship shall hold the office under section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this section.

(B) The existing district judgeship for the eastern and western districts of Missouri (provided by section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date of this act) and the occupant of which has his or her official duty station at St. Louis on the date of the enactment of this act, shall be a district judgeship for the eastern district of Missouri only, and the incumbent of such judgeship shall hold the office under section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this section.

© The existing district judgeship for the eastern and western districts of Missouri (provided by section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date of this act) and the occupant of which has his or her official duty station at Kansas City on the date of the enactment of this act, shall be a district judgeship for the western district of Missouri only, and the incumbent of such judgeship shall hold the office under section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this section.

(D) The existing district judgeship for the northern, eastern, and western districts of Oklahoma (provided by section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date of this act) shall be a district judgeship for the eastern district of Oklahoma only, and the incumbent of such judgeship shall hold the office under section 133 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this section.

© TABLES.—In order that the table contained in section 133 of title 28, United States Code, will, with respect to each judicial district, reflect the changes in the total number of permanent district judgeships authorized as a result of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, such table is amended to read as follows:

(Table deleted for brevity)

(d) This section shall take effect at noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2021. The temporary judgeships referenced by subsection (b) of this section shall be, any other provision of law notwithstanding, authorized and extended until noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2021, when they shall be converted to permanent judgeships per subsection (b) of this section.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act, including such sums as may be necessary to provide appropriate space and facilities for the judicial positions created by this act.

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