Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


In response to growing concern over the rapidly increasing caseloads of the federal courts of appeal, the 92nd Congress established the Commission on Revision of the Federal Court Appellate System. The Commission was instructed "to study the structure and internal procedures of the federal courts of appeal system" and to recommend such "changes in structure or internal procedure as may be appropriate for the expeditious and effective disposition of the caseload of the Federal courts of appeal...."

In April 1975, the Commission issued a preliminary report of its views. Among the recommendations contained in that report was a proposal that Congress establish a National Court of Appeals consisting of seven judges to be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The court would rank between the existing courts of appeal and the Supreme Court in the judicial hierarchy. The jurisdiction of the National Court of Appeals would extend to two classes of cases: first, cases "transferred" to it by the existing courts of appeal, normally prior to decision by the transferring court; and, second, cases "referred" to it by the Supreme Court from among the cases on that Court's docket. The National Court of Appeals would have discretion to refuse cases within its "transfer" jurisdiction, but would be required to hear all cases referred to it by the Supreme Court. All decisions by the National Court of Appeals would be subject to review by the Supreme Court.

The following statement was prepared by Professor Sandalow for delivery at hearings held by the Commission to receive comments on its preliminary report.