12.31.13

Comment Of SJC Chairman Leahy On Chief Justice Roberts' Year-End Report On The Federal Judiciary

“The Chief Justice's annual year-end report again focuses on the significant financial strain on our Federal courts.  These cuts have a real impact for Americans seeking justice, and pose real threats to the dedicated public servants who work in our nation’s Federal courts as well as to members of the public.  A return to regular order in our appropriations process will, I hope, ensure that our courts have the resources they require.
 
“In his report, Chief Justice Roberts warns against the danger of reduced funding to public safety. Congress earlier this month passed an extension of the Supreme Court Police’s authority to protect Justices, their staff, and official guests when they are away from Supreme Court grounds.  Our courts must have the resources they need not just to process litigation, but to protect those seeking justice.
 
“One threat facing our courts which is unaddressed in the Chief's year-end report are the continuing vacancies plaguing the Federal courts.  This year, the number of vacancies has hovered around 90 because obstruction in Congress has led to filibuster after filibuster of qualified nominees. We must not take for granted that we have the greatest justice system in the world, and ensuring this continues requires the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent.”

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