The real cause behind the efforts to split the circuit is that its appellate court is perceived as too liberal. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, has been a conservative bugaboo since the 1970s, when President Carter and a Democratic supermajority in Congress doubled the number of judges on the court and appointed some of the most liberal jurists in American history. Right-wing radio hosts and politicians love beating up on the “nutty 9th.”
But in reality, the court’s liberalism has declined dramatically. Judges appointed to the court by Presidents Clinton and Obama have been steadily more centrist, while Republican appointees have remained conservative.
There is one final advantage to keeping the 9th Circuit intact: Republicans would retain their favorite culprit. After all, what would they do without the nutty 9th to blame?
Read the whole analysis in the LA Times