David Sellers, spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, said that differences in caseloads have “been a reality of judging—not just in federal courts—for more than two centuries.” He added, “I would liken this to a study that concludes that cars traveling on the same road, or different roads, travel at different speeds,” Sellers said. That doesn’t mean things can’t be improved, he said. “There are courts that have tremendous needs for new judgeships, particularly on the Southwest border. There are longstanding judicial vacancies.”
Federal judges are handling criminal caseloads that vary widely in size, sometimes even among judges in the same courthouse, says a Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse study reported by the Associated Press. In Los Angeles; Beaumont, Tx., and Camden, N.J., courts, the judge with the largest caseload sentenced more than twice the number of defendants as the judge with the smallest caseload between October 2006 and July 2012.