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Appeals Court Split Opposed by Nevada Bar

September 16, 2006|From the Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The State Bar of Nevada reaffirmed its opposition to a bill by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) to split up the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a frequent source of anti-Bush-administration rulings.

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rew Goodenow, State Bar of Nevada president, said the group's governing board opposes Ensign's bill "given the tremendous financial strain splitting the 9th Circuit Court would cause and thereby taking away from the direct administration of justice."

Besides that, Goodenow -- who is active in state GOP circles -- said the governing board believes there is "a lack of evidence supporting a quantifiable need for the split" of the nation's largest federal appeals court.

The conservative Ensign, who had eight co-sponsors for his measure, has pressed for its approval by saying the San Francisco-based court is overloaded.

Opponents allege political motives by Republicans annoyed by the court's rulings, including a 2002 opinion that declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional when recited in public schools. The Bush administration had maintained the pledge is not an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The 9th Circuit covers nine states and has 28 judgeships.

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