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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, legislators push to leave Ninth Circuit Court

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and a group of legislators still want the state to cut ties with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to either move to another jurisdiction or establish a new one.

The group planned to eventually introduce legislation that would make it happen in both U.S. houses.

Ducey said that his office, along with those of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) were working toward that goal.

The federal court jurisdiction is comprised of Arizona, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

The San Francisco-based circuit is the biggest of the 13 courts of appeal.

And that’s part of the problem, according to the group. Ducey called the court overburdened.

“… the Ninth Circuit has an abysmal turnaround time of over 15 months for an average ruling – a figure that’s only going to grow as the docket does,” Ducey said.

“Arizonans deserve better than this from the people in power, and that includes a judicial process that is judicious in nature.”

In October, Ducey wrote House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, requesting that Congress consider:

“reorganzing the Ninth Circuit by realigning the District of Arizona with the Tenth Circuit, or by creating a new circuit court of appeals consisting of Arizona and other noncoastal states.”

The letter went to say that if Congress compiled enough evidence that showed reform was in order, that legislation needed to pass.

“There are so many cases in front of that court that it takes a very, very long time for us to get any decision,” KTAR News legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said.

“The reason why we go through the court system is to get disputes resolved. When we have to wait that long for an issue nothing gets resolved and cases just mount up, which doesn’t help anybody.”

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