Chief Justice says budget cuts harm court system

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in his annual report on the state of the federal judiciary that the budget cuts imposed by Congress “pose a genuine threat to public safety,” according to a Dec. 31 New York Times article. The current report continues a similar theme from previous years.

Roberts noted that reductions have created delays in civil and bankruptcy cases, as well as decreasing funding for probation and pretrial services in addition to security needs at individual courthouses, putting both the public and court officers at greater risk.

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Budget cuts will create crisis in courts, judges say

A Sept. 4 article posted on the Orlando [Fla.] Sentinel website reported that some U.S. district courts are considering limiting – or even suspending – civil jury trials in preference to criminal cases. The article notes that federal judges believe the limitations brought on by budget cuts will create a crisis in the courts. Similarly, the American Bar Association is planning to pressure Congress to restore funding.

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Similar stories also ran in the Wall Street Journal about the federal courts serving New York City and Long Island and the Pacific News Center about the District Court of Guam

Federal judges call on Congress to restore court funding

In late August, newspapers around the United States featured editorials calling for funds to be restored to the federal courts. As with many federal agencies, the federal courts have seen a significant reduction due to the automatic spending cuts put into effect this year. Judges from 86 of the 94 federal courts called attention to the issue with a letter to members of Congress in mid-August.