01-11-2011, 03:12 PM
Are the borders of the various districts of the Federal Reserve Banks, and the Circuits of the Court of Appeal carved in stone, or can Congress modify them?
01-11-2011, 03:49 PM
I can't speak for the Federal Reserve banks, but the Court of Appeal circuit boundaries are defined by Congress.
01-11-2011, 03:51 PM
Since both would have been created through Acts of Congress, it makes sense that Congress could modify their borders.
01-11-2011, 03:51 PM
The Eleventh Circuit was originally part of the Fifth Circuit, but was split off in 1981. Fifth Circuit cases from before the split remain binding precedent in the Eleventh.
01-11-2011, 04:39 PM
Who could have carved these boundaries in stone in the first place? How could Congress not have control? The only authority above Congress is the Constitution and very few things are fixed in the Constitution.
01-11-2011, 04:40 PM
The US Courts of Appeals circuits are determined by Congress. The boundaries of the Federal Reserve districts are actually delegated to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, except that Congress requires that there be between eight and twelve districts. For the relevant law-talking, see the following:
28 USC § 41 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode28/usc_sec_28_00000041----000-.html), which defines the circuit boundaries:
The thirteen judicial circuits of the United States are constituted as follows:
District of Columbia District of Columbia.
First Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island.
Second Connecticut, New York, Vermont.
Third Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands.
Fourth Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.
Fifth District of the Canal Zone, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas.
Sixth Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee.
Seventh Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin.
Eighth Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Ninth Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Hawaii.
Tenth Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming.
Eleventh Alabama, Florida, Georgia.
Federal All Federal judicial districts.
12 USC § 222 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_12_00000222----000-.html), which lays out the requirements for the Fed districts.
The continental United States, excluding Alaska, shall be divided into not less than eight nor more than twelve districts. Such districts may be readjusted and new districts may from time to time be created by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, not to exceed twelve in all: Provided, That the districts shall be apportioned with due regard to the convenience and customary course of business and shall not necessarily be coterminous with any State or States. Such districts shall be known as Federal reserve districts and may be designated by number. When the State of Alaska or Hawaii is hereafter admitted to the Union the Federal Reserve  districts shall be readjusted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in such manner as to include such State.
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