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Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CaliforniaRep. Darrell Issa, R-California (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

Familiar battle lines and talking points resurfaced Thursday as a congressional hearing delved into the possibility of splitting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the nation’s largest court in terms of case­load, territory, and population governed.

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on courts, intellectual property and the internet hosted three Ninth Circuit judges—Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judges Carlos Bea and Alex Kozinski—all of whom favor keeping the 29-judge circuit as is, and two academics, John Eastman of Chapman University and Brian Fitzpatrick of Vanderbilt University Law School, who advocate creating a new circuit.

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