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Thursday, October 10, 2013

ABA president, others express concern over shutdown’s effects on judiciary

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American Bar Association President James Silkenat is calling on members of Congress to send a budget to the President.

Silkenat, a partner in the New York office of Sullivan & Worcester, took office in August.

In a statement last week, Silkenat called the government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, a “historic failure that imperils justice.”

“The political brinksmanship that brought our government to a standstill reflects the same intransigence and unwillingness to compromise that imposed sequestration on our national government and hardships on many who contract with, work for or receive certain nonentitlement benefits from the federal government,” he said.

“Federal courts already face staff reductions and programmatic cuts that threaten public safety. The failure to reach accord on a continuing resolution to fund the government has also scuttled both chambers attempts to add extra funding to pay for indigent defense representation.”

He added, “Congress has practically abdicated its constitutional responsibility to provide a budget for the government. It is time to end the scorched earth tactics and send a budget to the President.”
Silkenat, who argues that citizens’ access to justice will increasingly be in jeopardy, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday about the effects of the shutdown on the judiciary.
He, along with other lawyers and former judges, told members of the...
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