Federal Judges Tell Congress Budget Cuts Weaken Security, Public Safety


In an unusual show of agreement, chief judges of nearly every federal district court joined to warn Congress of the damage budget cuts have done to judicial operations, says the National Law Journal. The 87 chief judges, calling themselves “the boots on the ground in our nation’s federal trial courts,” signed a four-page letter describing how low funding has weakened courthouse security, reduced public safety because of probation and parole cuts, and caused dire problems for federal public defender offices. First it was flat funding for years, then $350 million in budget cuts this year called sequestration. Now there is “an unprecedented financial crisis” that is harming the constitutional mission of the courts, says the letter drafted by Chief Judge Gerald Rosen of Michigan and Chief Judge Loretta Preska of New York City. The letter warns that the lack of money is causing delays that undermine the public's confidence in the judicial system. Te Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts says a letter like this hasn't been drafted and so widely circulated in decades, if ever–which underscores the urgency felt within the judiciary.

Comments are closed.