This Article considers whether Congress or the Supreme Court could reverse the law of the circuit doctrine. Part I explores the importance of uniformity in federal law. Part II considers the extent to which a desire for uniformity has shaped the structure of the federal court system. Part III considers how the evolution of the courts of appeals as independent regional adjudicatory bodies affects the uniformity objective. Part IV examines the attributes of superior and inferior courts, and applies these criteria to the current courts of appeals. Part V examines the tension between uniformity and inferiority as determinants of the decisional and geographic structures of the federal courts of appeals. This Article concludes that either Congress or the Supreme Court could abolish the law of the circuit doctrine without running afoul of the inferiority mandate.
Martha J. Dragich, Uniformity, Inferiority, and the Law of the Circuit Doctrine, 56 Loy. L. Rev. 535 (2010)