Dear Judge Schroeder: Congratulations on becoming the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Procter Hug, Jr., transferred that office to you on December 1, 2000, during a quiet period in the tribunal's life, affording several months of relative calm m which to assume the daunting responsibility for Ninth Circuit operations. Your twenty-one-year service as an active court member will promote the felicitous discharge of your new duties as chief judge and will ease resolution of the difficulties that the tribunal will invariably encounter.

You have entered the pantheon of leaders whose century of collective expenence on the Ninth Circuit enables them to address deftly numerous complex, delicate challenges mvolvmg the federal government's coordinate branches, the three tiers of the judiciary, and relations between the national government and the states. Examples include the court's efforts to secure resources from a budget-conscious Congress; to insure efficient and fair disposition of the largest appeals court docket; and to address perennial attempts to split the Ninth Circuit. Moreover, as you know, there are bitter, longstanding disputes among the Ninth Circuit judges and between those jurists and the Supreme Court over the death penalty, as well as environmental, Indian and water law. The following discussion is a selective catalog of problems that will probably arise during your tenure as chief judge and some suggestions on how best to resolve them.

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