The American Bar Association, in a letter last week, says the combination of too few judges and insufficient funding is diminishing the ability of the federal courts to “serve the people and deliver timely justice.”
Thomas Susman, director of the ABA’s Governmental Affairs Office, sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte to be made part of the record in a hearing on the need for federal judgeships.
Last week, Goodlatte, R-Va. and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, held a hearing titled, “Are More Judges Always the Answer?”
Goodlatte contends President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats see the courts as an avenue to advance their agendas.
“When the Senate Majority Leader said, ‘We’re focusing very intently on the D.C. Circuit’ and ‘We need at least one more. There’s three vacancies. And that will switch the majority,’ he clearly wasn’t referring to the court’s needs,” he said during the Oct. 29 hearing.
But the ABA argues that when federal courts do not have sufficient judges to keep up with the workload, civil trial dockets end up taking a back seat to criminal dockets.
“As a result, persistent judge shortages increase the length of time that civil litigants and businesses wait for their day in court, create pressures that ‘robotize’ justice, and increase case backlogs that will perpetuate delays for years to...