How Does The Multi-circuit Lottery Work?

BBP News
2 min readNov 19, 2021


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The 5th district court of appeals has officially permanently blocked OSHAs controversial mandate for companies with more than 100 employees at their company.

That is not the end of this battle of lawsuits though Wednesday a specific panel of judges held the multi-circuit lottery. In the fifth circuit the three panel Judges decided late last week to uphold its stay on the OSHA rule calling it a “one size fit all sledgehammer”.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is not the only court hearing cases about the OSHA rule; cases are being heard in the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and DC.

According to the federal statute when a multi-circuit lottery is held it is presided over by the judicial panel made up of 7 Circuit Judges designated by the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

The rules to this lottery is no two judges can be from the same district and four judges must agree for any decision to be made. This panel is called the judicial panel on multi district litigation.

The big case is who sits on this panel? These are all district court judges from different states. Two were appointed by President George W Bush, two were appointed by President Clinton, two were appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and 1 was appointed by President Obama.

Those judges by means of selection designate one Court of Appeals from the circuit. In the multi-circuit lottery it takes current pending cases before them and consolidates them into one circuit.

That means the only circuits that went into the lottery were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and DC. Each circuit in the lottery gets one single entry no matter how many lawsuits have been filed in that specific district.



BBP News

Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.