The long-simmering debate over splitting the nation’s largest federal appellate court heated up last month when one 9th Circuit judge complained that a new breakaway circuit would have no Hispanic judges.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently considering S. 1845, a bill that would split the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, with California, Hawaii and Guam in a new, shrunken 9th Circuit. A new 12th Circuit would be composed of Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

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