Congress recently considered some proposals to split the Ninth Circuit, proposals that could have far-reaching effects on the environment, public lands, and natural resources. This Article first looks at some of the recent developments in Congress, particularly the authorization of a national study commission to examine the federal appeals courts. Professor Tobias predicts that the Ninth Circuit will be split during the next decade. He cautions against using political considerations to conduct legislative policymaking with respect to thefederal courts. He suggests that those concerned about the environment gather reliable information and explore alternatives to circuit-splitting. If Congress decides to bifurcate the Circuit, he suggests that it examine how districts will be realigned, particularly in terms of concepts such as ecosystems, endangered species habitats, wildlife corridors, or river drainages, and in terms of specific natural resources such as old growth forests, salmon, and grizzly bears.
Carl Tobias, Natural Resources and the Ninth Circuit Split, 28 Envtl. L. 411 (1998)