WASHINGTON – In the face of Senate opposition, a GOP plan to break up the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was dropped from a budget bill that passed the House early Monday.
House Republicans who contend the nation’s largest federal appeals court has gotten too big to be effective included legislation splitting it into two entities in the House version of the deficit-trimming bill, passed last month.
But opponents of the breakup alleged political motives, contending Republicans were annoyed by 9th Circuit rulings, including a 2002 opinion that declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional when recited in public schools.
The 9th Circuit covers nine states with about 54 million people and has 28 judgeships.
House and Senate negotiators left the breakup out of the final version of the $39.7 billion federal budget bill that passed the House 212-206 and was expected to get a Senate vote later in the day.