Daines Introduces Bills to Expedite Access to Courts for Montanans, Split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced two bills that would split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to make casework processing more efficient and provide a more expedient route to justice for Montanans and others in the West. 

“Splitting the Ninth Circuit will improve Montanans’ access to justice and end the unacceptable backlogs and delays they are currently experiencing. This is a much-needed reform to ensure Montanans are being well-served by our judicial system,” Daines said. 

The “Judicial Efficiency Improvement Act of 2021” would implement the Judicial Conference’s most recent recommendations as well as other important measures to enhance the effectiveness of the federal judiciary which includes creating a new Twelfth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Daines also reintroduced the “Judicial Reorganization Act” to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in order to allow for more efficient caseload processing.


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the largest in the nation with over nine states and two territorial courts, decides an extensive number of appeals annually, and accounts for nearly a third of all pending federal appeals.  It takes an average of 13 months to decide a case, which is almost five months more than the national average.

Montana is currently part of the Ninth Circuit and its judges have influence over Western issues that affect Montanans. Daines bills would split the Ninth Circuit in two, establishing a new Twelfth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Contact: Katherine McKeoghKatie Schoettler