This chronology is intended to be more expository than analytical. My modest goal is merely to collect and to synthesize the findings of those previous studies-to describe their common sense of institutional crisis rather than to set out independently to define the threshold of crisis or to prove that it has been exceeded. In this area of public policy, the routinely repeated perception is that the caseload has come to threaten the federal appellate ideal and therefore some reform is needed. Indeed, it is interesting just how much basic agreement there has been over the years. These previous studies have been conducted by leading court experts from multiple disciplines, using various evaluative methodologies. While their evidence and documentation are far too voluminous to be canvassed in the space of a few pages, their conclusions can be faithfully summarized and their recommendations can be compared in an effort to better understand all that has gone before. My fundamental premise is that this history is important context and necessary background against which to understand, in turn, the conclusions and recommendations of the White Commission.
Thomas E. Baker,
A Generation Spent Studying the U.S. Courts of Appeals: A Chronology
, 34 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 395
Available at: http://ecollections.law.fiu.edu/faculty_publications/156