All twelve of the criminal appeals from Judge Sirica’s Watergate trials were heard by the DC Circuit Court sitting en banc (i.e.: heard by all nine judges, instead of the usual randomly chosen three judge panel) which preserved Chief Judge Bazelon’s slim one-vote liberal majority. In contrast, none of the four criminal appeals from Judge Gesell’s Watergate trials were heard in this manner. The law review article below, written by DC Circuit Judge Richard Ginsberg, details the use of the en banc procedure and shows how exceptionally rare its usage has been in the DC Circuit.

“The Court Sitting En Banc”