In a National Law Journal article, Todd Ruger reveals a sense of urgency presiding over the federal judicial system leading to a rare situation where 87 U.S. district court chief justices have joined together to protest judicial budget cuts.

In a four-page letter addressed to leadership of the Senate and House, as well as to the House and Senate Judiciary and Appropriations committees, the chief judges warn that the cuts are “harming the constitutional mission of the courts.” “Deep funding cuts simply means that the Judiciary cannot adequately perform its responsibilities.”

Ruger states that the “letter warns that the lack of money is causing delays that undermine the public’s confidence in the judicial system.” The letter continues: “When cases lag, the Judiciary is seen as inefficient, or worse unsympathetic to litigants…”

It seems Congress agrees with the letter. The House Appropriations Committee has approved an appropriations bill allocating $6.5 billion to the courts and a Senate appropriations subcommittee has approved a bill allocating $6.7 billion for the courts.

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