The last time Congress expanded the U.S. Courts of Appeals was in 1990, by 11 seats. In a new article in the Northwestern University Law Review, University of Florida Levin College of Law  professor Merritt McAlister makes the case that adding more seats is overdue, and suggests ways to reform the current system of determining judicial need.

In doing so, she also linked the diversity of the population a circuit serves to its use of “shortcuts” to deal with large caseloads, such as reductions in oral argument, delegation to staff attorneys and reliance on unpublished opinions.