Congress delays Ninth Circuit changes for at least a year

Congress has delayed for at least a year an effort to split up the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Both the House and Senate agreed to a compromise last month which halted Republican efforts to remove northwestern states from the nine-state territory.

The compromise calls for a one-year study to examine whether the boundaries of the regional appellate courts should be changed.

Critics of the court charge it is dominated by liberal California judges.

"This is a reasonable compromise," said Chief Judge Proctor Hug Jr. of Reno, who fought the proposed breakup.

The State Barís board of governors last summer supported an American Bar Association resolution which calls for the creation of a bipartisan commission to study the federal appellate structure.

The last major restructure and reallignment of the court of appeals was in 1973.