WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- Jeffrey Chiesa, the former New Jersey Attorney General who filled the late Frank Lautenberg's U.S. Senate seat in June, has signed on to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's proposed Court Efficiency Act.

Chiesa, a Republican, is the legislation's newest co-sponsor, added Wednesday.

In June, Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., added their names to the bill. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, added her name in May.

Also co-sponsoring the legislation: Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch, Utah; Jeff Sessions, Alabama; Lindsey Graham, South Carolina; John Cornyn, Texas; Mike Lee, Utah; Ted Cruz, Texas; and Jeff Flake, Arizona. All are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Court Efficiency Act, or Senate Bill 699, proposes to reduce the number of judgeships on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 11 to eight, but adds a seat to the Second and Eleventh circuits.

Grassley, ranking member of the judiciary committee, contends the legislation is an "efficient allocation of resources" and would save taxpayer dollars.

However, some have argued the GOP senator's proposed legislation is simply court packing -- something he has accused President Barack Obama of doing as of late.

The bill was assigned to the judiciary committee in April. It hasn't moved since.

Chiesa will temporarily fill Lautenberg's seat until a special election is held next month. Lautenberg, 89, died from complications related to viral pneumonia.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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