Idaho’s Republican lawmakers are backing a bill to get the state out from under the thumb of the court conservatives love to hate.

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo introduced a bill Wednesday to split the Ninth Circuit in two, leaving California, Guam and Hawaii in the Ninth and putting Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in a new 12th Circuit. Five western Republicans, including Crapo’s seatmate Sen. Jim Risch, are co-sponsoring it.

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who sponsored a bill to break the Ninth into two circuits in 2017, introduced a bill almost identical to Crapo’s in January. (It differs slightly on how the judges would be apportioned.) The bill has yet to get a hearing in the Democratic-controlled House. Former U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., introduced the same bill in 2017; Flake didn’t run for re-election in 2018, leaving Crapo the only remaining Republican from the Ninth Circuit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Author: Nathan Brown

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