Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Keywords

Federal Circuit, appellate courts

Subject Category

Courts | Jurisdiction | Law

Abstract

Are our federal courts organized suitably to perform their mission of assuring coherent administration of our national law? Maybe not. The senior author of this Article, along with many others, argued to the contrary forty years ago. Now, experience with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tends to confirm that an alternative structure of the federal judiciary could better serve the need for coherent national law, and without serious adverse consequences. Perhaps, therefore, it is now time for Congress to reconsider the matter. We here suggest the possibility that the United States replicate the structure of the appellate courts of the Federal Republic of Germany, which, like the Federal Circuit, are specialized to assure coherent and consistent interpretation of that nation’s laws. Advances in technology have greatly reduced the need for the traditional regionalization of the federal appellate process, so that the model supplied by the Federal Circuit may offer new hope that our national law could be administered with substantially greater coherence and efficiency than the present system of conflicted circuits allows.