Search the Archives           Subscribe           About this News Service           Reader Comments

Archived updates for Friday, November 12, 2004

Courts on the Brink of a Fiscal Abyss

According to a November 12, 2004 article in The National Law Journal, appeals filed in the federal courts increased 6 percent, to 60,847 last year. In the district courts, civil filings dropped 8 percent, largely because of a reduction in asbestos-related cases, but criminal filings rose 5 percent and immigration cases increased 22 percent. Bankruptcy filings increased 7 percent to a record 1.6 million. Aside from these generally anticipated increases in filings, the courts have also had to deal with an influx of immigration cases and sentencing guidleine reviews under the Supreme Court's decision in Blakely v. Washington, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004).

Until about four years ago, the judiciary was receiving annual budget increases from Congress of about 10 percent. But in the last two budget years, the judiciary received increases of 4.8 percent and 4.7 percent. "We need an increase of about 6.1 percent each year in order to simply maintain current services. That will not cover increases in our workload, but it will cover a comparable amount of workload to that of the prior year,"said Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who chairs the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
    (0)comment(s)     translate     More Updates     Send