One portion of the immigration legislation being debated would consolidate all immigration appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).
There assuredly are other categories of appeals that the regional federal appellate courts view as dry, needlessly complex, burdensome or inconsequential. Perhaps these cases, too, could be sent to the Federal Circuit, so that the regional federal appellate courts would be left to handle only the extraordinarily interesting cases that appellate judges anticipate receiving when they take their oath of office.
Mark Lemley of Stanford agrees that immigration proposal would be bad for the CAFC:
Patent lawyers ought to be concerned about this. Right now, patents are the focus of the court’s jurisdiction, and the White House has increasingly been appointing patent lawyers to the Federal Circuit. If S.2454 passes, the court will become a political battleground, and there will be strong pressure in both parties to appoint ideologues with a particular view of immigration.
The IPO has also weighed-in on this matter, and provided this letter to Senator Bill Frist.
According to a source, this section of the Bill has now been removed.