Judges: Federal Courts are Swamped

The Judicial Conference of the United States is composed of 27 federal judges presided over by Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the Supreme Court. The executive committee of the Judicial Conference is headed by 5th Circuit Appeals Court Judge Carolyn Dineen King. Tuesday, Judge King said:

Federal courts are swamped, partly because of Bush administration get-tough-on-crime policies that lead to more trials....[she] singled out drug and immigration prosecutions along the U.S.-Mexican border and Attorney General John Ashcroft's order last year that federal prosecutors should seek the severest charges and penalties.....Federal spending has not come close to keeping pace with the increase in caseloads prompted by decisions like those.

...Already, the courts are leaving jobs unfilled and will eliminate hundreds of other positions through buyout programs, court administrators said. "We're at the point this year and next year where we are talking about cutting bone," King said.

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