Here’s a little riddle: What do these three senators have in common?
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
First, they’re all Republican senators from
underpopulated sparsely populated states.
Second, they’ve all run into ethical, legal, or political problems. You know all about Senator Craig — in fact, more than you ever wanted to. As for Senator Stevens, see here and here. As for Senator Murkowski, see here.
What’s the third thing they have in common? Find out, after the jump.
Here’s the third thing shared in common by this trio:
They were all big proponents of splitting the Ninth Circuit.
These senators are all victims of the fabled Ninth Circuit Curse: anyone who tries to mess with the Mighty Ninth eventually finds himself (or herself) in deep doo-doo.
There are legitimate arguments to be made in favor of splitting the circuit. See, e.g., here and here (testimony of our former boss).
But over the years, there has been lots of talk but no action on proposals to split the circuit. Is it because of the Ninth Circuit Curse?
Disorder in the court [Los Angeles Times]
Improving the Administration of Justice: A Proposal to Split the Ninth Circuit [Senate Judiciary Committee]