12.31.08

Comments On Chief Justice Roberts’ Year-End Report On The Federal Judiciary

“In his year-end report, Chief Justice Roberts highlights the essential role of the federal judiciary, the cost containment measures the judiciary has adopted, and the issue of judicial compensation.

“Our judiciary is the envy of the world, and it is a source of America’s strength and stability.  The branches of our federal government act as checks upon each other but also rely on each other, and I have always believed that Congress needs to take seriously the issues facing the federal judiciary.  That is why I sponsored legislation to confront comprehensively for the first time in 18 years the mounting caseloads in districts and circuits across the country.  The Senate Judiciary Committee considered and reported that comprehensive judgeship bill but it did not become law.  I hope it will be enacted in this upcoming year. 

“The members of the federal judiciary are rightfully dismayed that they were not even accorded a cost of living adjustment this year.  I share their disappointment and will continue working to enact the needed legislation to provide that adjustment. 

“Another key focus of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s work this past year was consideration of a bill on judicial compensation that I introduced with bipartisan support.  The Chief Justice is right that this bill makes up for cost of living adjustments denied in prior years.  Both the Senate and the House Judiciary Committees reported bills on judicial compensation, but neither was passed.  As the economic crisis has deepened it will be harder to enact this measure, but these adjustments are no less important.

“As a new Administration and a new Congress start their work in January, the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to focus on the requirements of the federal judiciary that our citizens and our republic need and deserve.”

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