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A Compendium of Proposals to Reform the United States Courts of Appeals

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Title: A Compendium of Proposals to Reform the United States Courts of Appeals
Author: Baker, Thomas E.
Abstract: In this essay, Professor Baker discusses proposals to reform the federal court system’s middle tier. After an introduction, section two considers the ideal role of the intermediate court in the federal judicial institution. Section three addresses current problems within the courts of appeals. Sections four and five discuss intramural and extramural reforms, respectively. Intramural reforms involve changes in how the courts of appeals themselves choose to perform within their traditional role itself, while extramural reforms involve congressional changes in the role of the courts of appeals. Professor Baker also addresses most of the reforms that have been tried or proposed in the various courts of appeals. While Professor Baker acknowledges that the respective circuit courts are quite different and that the differences will likely remain unless a major structural extramural reform occurs, Baker posits that some value exists in collecting these proposals in one place. The essay concludes by noting that the present structure of the federal court system may no longer serve its intended purpose, which the essay contends is “to deliver the best quality of justice at the least cost in the shortest amount of time” (quoting Chief Justice Burger). Professor Baker argues that to preserve and further what remains of the appellate ideal, Congress must consider reforming the structure of the federal courts of appeals. Baker urges Congress to develop a long-range perspective to the current problems through careful study, and by always keeping in mind the purpose of the federal judicial institution.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10601/1553
Related Resources: Click to follow Hein Online link
Date: 1985

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