The federal court system is “bursting at the seams,” Federal Bar Association President Ashley L. Belleau writes in a letter to Sens. Richard Durbin and Jerry Moran emphasizing the critical need to meet the federal judiciary’s FY 2012 funding request.
Belleau points to the “unprecedented crisis in our Third Branch due to unprecedented numbers of judicial vacancies,” as one of many factors that increases the cost of operating the federal court system.
“For criminal defendants awaiting trial, it can mean more detention time, adding even more costs to the taxpayer,” the letter states. “Just last year, the federal cost of pretrial detention alone was 1.4 billion dollars, according to the Department of Justice.”
Vacancies also add greater costs to “already high litigation expenses,” Belleau explains in an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Making sure we have enough judges in our federal courts will save dollars, not waste them,” she writes. “… For business clients, these costs get passed on to customers. And when the United States is a party to the case, it means that the public is paying that higher tab.”
ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson will discuss judicial nominations and the vacancy crisis next week during the Columbia Law School Association of Washington’s Chinatown Lunch Series’ May 4 event, at Tony Cheng’s Seafood Restaurant in Washington, D.C.