Federal Judiciary leaders today received a report on the impact of reduced funding due to sequestration – which cut court staff and delayed cases – and a separate report on an aggressive multi-faceted strategy to reduce the costs of court space.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. has named five new Judicial Conference committee chairs and extended the terms of four current Conference committee chairs. The new appointments became effective October 1, 2013.
At its biannual meeting, the Judicial Conference approved the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures. Conference actions continue the Judiciary's decade-long cost-containment efforts that have become increasingly aggressive as sequestration triggered broad cuts in court staff and programs.
The chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources told a Senate subcommittee that the judicial workforce needs to expand if the Judiciary is to continue to serve litigants efficiently and effectively.
A federal judge today told a Senate panel that the number of personnel working in U.S. courts is at the lowest level since 1999, and that federal court clerks and probation and pretrial services staff could be furloughed for close to 70,000 hours this fiscal year.
Stating that sequestration has put the federal Judiciary "in uncharted territory," a federal judge told the Judicial Conference today that "we face a budget crisis that is unprecedented, one that is not likely to end in the near-term."