JUNEAU (AP) U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a co-sponsor of a bill aiming to create two federal courts out of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Alaska.
Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the federal court needs to be divided in two because it is too large and unwieldy.
The San Francisco-based court itself disagrees.
''Our court is overwhelmingly opposed to any split, with only three of our 24 active judges in favor of a restructuring,'' 9th Circuit Chief Judge Mary Schroeder said recently in a prepared statement.
The 9th Circuit spans Alaska, eight other Western states and the Pacific Islands.
Senate Bill 1845 co-sponsored with Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. would split the court in two, retaining California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands as the 9th Circuit and creating a new 12th Circuit comprising Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona.
The appeals court handles more cases than any other circuit. In 2004 alone, it handled more than 14,200 cases, according to Mur-kowski.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.