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The CHAIRMAN. It would be left in the eastern district?
Mr. CHARLES FINLEY (Member of Congress): I understand the gentlemen who oppose this—are they lawyers with large corporation practice?
Mr. CALVERT. Well, I suppose each of them represents some corporations, but they represent more citizens than they do corporations.
Mr. Finley. But the citizens they represent are interested in the State courts and not in the Federal courts; isn't that the case?
Mr. CALVERT. Well, some of them are and some of them are not.
Mr. Finley. They have a practice in the State courts and in the Federal courts?
Mr. CALVERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. FINLEY. As far as their clients are concerned in the State courts, few of them are interested in the others?
Mr. CALVERT. Yes.
Mr. STOBBs. You said 80 per cent of the civil business of the present eastern district would be segregated into the southern district if this division was made, and a substantial part of the criminal business would be so segregated?
Mr. CALVERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. CALVERT. Yes. I would like to make this further statement: There are no records to bear me out, but I think the members of the bar who practice in the eastern district of Kentucky would bear me out in this statement: You can file a suit in the London division of the eastern district to-day, get your process served, and get the suit down and go to trial if both parties are ready at the May term of the court. There is nothing in the way of a suit that comes in the eastern district of Kentucky that they won't try.
Mr. STOBBs. Where do you get your figures?
Mr. CALVERT. It would leave Judge Cochran with a purely honorary job.
Mr. STOBBS. With no work to do?
Mr. STOBBS. And the new judge would have it all, practically all the work?
Mr. CALVERT. Practically all. Take the docket at Catlettsburg. There are many cases on the docket of the United States District Court of Catlettsburg from Boyd county. The major cases come from Lawrence, Boyd, and Pike Counties. Now, take Lexington, it has two fine hotels. The court and all the lawyers like to go there to hold court. But the trouble is if you want to sue a defendent living at Jackson he can by motion send it back to Jackson. The lawyers agree among themselves and they agree to transfer the case from Jackson to Lexington.
Mr. Stobbs. When you create this division of territory surrounding a certain designated place to hold court are the jurors or talesmen drawn from the counties composing the division so that you can get trial by local jurors?
Mr. CALVERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. STOBBs. But if a man wanted to get a change of district he could get it back by his own neighbors sitting on the jury?
Mr. CALVERT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the industry in what would be the new district-the main industry?
Mr. CALVERT. The only part of the new eastern district of Kentucky where there is any business is around Boyd and Ashland. The balance would be agricultural.
Mr. Wilson. Mr. Chairman, if agreeable, we would like to have Mr. Yantis speak and afterwards Judge Charles Kerr who was formerly a member of the Lexington bar, born and reared at the place where Judge Cochran lives; and Judge Kerr has served 10 years as a judge on the Fayette circuit court. He is now practicising here in the city of Washington, and we would like you to hear him.
STATEMENT OF JUDGE CHARLES KERR
The CHAIRMAN. We would be glad to hear from Judge Kerr.
Judge CHARLES KERR. I do not think there is anything I can add to the very full statement made by the two preceding gentlemen who are more familiar with the district than I am now. I was for 10 or 11 years judge of the State circuit court at Lexington, Ky., which, as you know, is tributary to the entire eastern part of the State. During the time I was judge of the court there a large percentage of the business—not that which originated there, but that which originated in eastern Kentucky and which was transferred to Lexington and tried before the court there, that was done because of the convenience Lexington afforded to litigants and lawyers and those interested; and in some instances where we had feud cases in Kentucky to avoid local conditions.
But Lexington is the entry point of the entire eastern part of the State, and there is a close and intimate relation between the two sections of the State. If that condition still exists, I feel that a majority of the litigants in that entire section of the State would object to having Lexington taken from that portion of the State.
We can not judge court documents by population or square miles or the number of cases on the docket. Nor can we judge by the number of counties composing a district. It is one of the remarkable instances of conditions existing in Kentucky that it has a great number of countics.
There are 120 counties in the State of Kentucky.
The counties composing the new eastern district have very little business for Federal courts. I think my friend Mr. Calvert is correct in stating that fully 80 per cent of the court business tried in that district is in what is called the “southern district.”'
The topography of Kentucky is such that it can not well be divided into three districts, so that the people can adequately be served by those courts. And if this committee were acquainted with the conditions of travel and the topography, you would realize that.
For instance, under this division (indicating on map] there is Jackson; and there indicating) is Pineville. To go from Jackson to Pineville, a distance of about 40 miles, you must go to Lexington and then down there (indicating) in order to get here.
Those conditions will exist in almost every point marked on the map until there is some better system of roadways there-
Mr. THATCHER. May we interrupt the speaker for a moment in order that Congressman Kendall may present a resolution to the committee and then withdraw?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
The Hon. Elva Roscoe KENDALL (Representative from the ninth congressional district of Kentucky). Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I would like to present this resolution received by me this morning from the Ashland Bar Association, protesting against the creation of the new district. (Paper handed to the Chairman.)
The CHAIRMAN. It will be marked as an exhibit.
Congressman KENDALL. Boyd County Bar Association, held its meeting in the city of Catlettsburg. It will be in the eastern district if the new district should be created. It is very brief and with your permission I will read it:
On motion duly seconded, it was unanimously.
Resolved, That the Boyd County Bar Association is opposed to the creation of a third judicial district in the State of Kentucky, and believing that the creation of such a district is unwise and unnecessary, recommends the defeat of the bill now pending before the Congress of the United States (H. R. 5624), providing for the creation of such district.
Resolved, further, That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Attorney General of the United States, and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and to the Representatives of the ninth congressional district.
Judge KERR (resuming). I would like to make this statement in relation to the telegram from Covington, received and read by Mrs. Langley: I do not know the conditions now; but I participated on another occasion in an action to prevent Kentucky from being divided into three districts. Covington has always been the city for the court in the eastern district. As you gentlemen know, Congress has made an appropriation of $760,000 to build a Federal building at Lexington. That would be the natural seat of the court. When we tried to get the court session at Lexington, Covington naturally felt Lexington was nearer the center of the district, and might eventually become the seat of the court.
Mrs. LANGLEY. On what do you base that suggestion? Judge KERR. I knew the conditions. The Federal building is here. That would be much more convenient for the entire district than if it were in the city of Covington.
The CHAIRMAN. There is no intention to take the court from Lexington.
Judge KERR. No; none whatever. But you can see from the map that Covington is on the extreme point of the district, whereas Lexington is in the center.
The Chairman. But both of them will retain courts, no matter what action is taken on this bill.
Judge KERR. There is nothing in the bill to prevent court being held at both places.
Mr. THATCHER. With respect to the western district, would this proposed new district give relief to the needs of the western district as would the appointment of the new judge who might arrange to be sitting at different times at both of those places?
Judge KERR. I should not think so. If the business of what is termed the Eastern district is to be cut down-if 80 per cent only will be in the southern, and only 20 per cent of the entire eastern business is left in the eastern district, it would not.
Mr. CALVERT. Do you think a man appointed judge of the southern district of Kentucky, if it is created, would have time to hold court in the western or southern district?
Judge KERR. No; I do not think so.
Mr. FINLEY. If the amount of business is about as small as the gentleman indicates, would not that judge have time to go and try cases somewhere else?
Judge KERR. That would depend on the judge. Judge Cochran would conduct it as efficiently as possible.
Mr. FINLEY. If the new district is created it was stated that Judge Cochran would have just a sinecure?
Judge KERR. I do not deny that.
Judge KERR. That agrees with the proposition that a third judge would simply the situation and he could be sent wherever there was congestion.
Mr. FINLEY. There is no reason why that should not be done for Judge Cochran if he had a sinecure? Is there any reason why he should not be sent to the third district?
I do not think Judge Cochran, after serving the district for so long a time, should now be subjected to such a change. He has served the district too well for that.
Mr. FINLEY. Lexington has one of the State hospitals located there. I understand one of them is to be located there. The State hospital is already there.
Mr. FINLEY. And the State college is there?
Mr. Finley. And the Juvenile House of Reformation, or Reform, is near there, at Greendale?
Mr. KERR. Yes, sir; in the same county that Lexington is in?
Mr. FINLEY. And Lexington is getting $750,000 for a Federal building?
Judge KERR. Yes.
Mr. Finley. I believe I understood you to say that Covington was fearful that Lexington would claim to be the headquarters of that district
Judge KERR. I said that was natural.
Mr. Finley. I said, if considering the inquisitiveness, that Lexington has manifested in the past, and is now manifesting, I asked if that suspicion would not be justified?
Judge KERR. What suspicion?
Mr. Finley. The suspicion that Lexington would try to get the headquarters of the district.
Judge KERR. I do not see any sequence there. If the Government thought Lexington was the best place to put these institutions, Lexington would doubtless get them. There was a hearing held to determine those things.
Mr. FINLEY. Where does the judge live?
The CHAIRMAN. Where does he spend his time between sessions of court?
Judge KERR. At Maysville.
Mr. FINLEY. Now, if there is such a small amount of business, originating in this northern part of the district, there is a place there-but Lexington can not take it all, there are four places. Now, how many terms do they hold there?
Judge KERR. I do not know.
Mr. CALVERT. The term at Jackson lasts one week, at London two weeks. The terms at Lexington are three and four weeks, and at Catlettsburg three.
Mr. FINELY. And how many at Frankfort? Judge KERR. Two. Mr. FINLEY. And Covington? Judge KERR. Something like two weeks. Mr. FINLEY. Do you know the business originating in those districts?
Judge KERR. The larger part of the civil business comes from the southern part of Kentucky, and 90 per cent of the criminal business.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed, Judge.
Judge KERR. That is all I have to say, Mr. Chairman. I know that the statements these gentlemen have made are practically all true, and especially is the statement true as to the disposition of the criminal business. Ninety per cent of the criminal business when I practiced in the court was disposed of through confessions, and very few cases had to be disposed of by trial.
The Chairman. The Kentucky River separates these districts, Judge?
Judge KERR. On the north, the Ohio River.
The CHAIRMAN. That red line on the map is north of the Kentucky River? Judge KERR. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further, Mr. Thatcher?