Via Hercules and the Umpire, the blog of Nebraska Senior District Court Judge Richard Kopf, 87 of the nation's 94 Chief U.S. District Court Judges have written a joint letter to Congress warning of the impending disaster to befall our Judiciary as the result of flat funding followed by sequester cuts.
Judge Kopf reprints the letter (you can read the original here), and adds this comment:
As a former Chief District Judge, I know that you can almost never get 87 Chief District Judges to agree about when the sun comes up. The fact that 87 of them wrote the foregoing letter to Congress ought to make clear that the federal district courts are inches away from disaster. Congress is on the brink of intentionally wrecking the federal trial courts. Will sanity prevail?
Thank you Judge Kopf.
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Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic has an excellent article on the impact of the sequester on the federal judiciary. Already there are layoffs and furloughs at federal defenders' offices and courts are reducing staff. Law enforcement is also taking a hit.
The Federal Times reports 21,000 court employees could be affected.
U.S. marshals, who furnish courthouse security, and federal prosecutors face furloughs of up to 14 days by the end of September.
There are some exemptions: "Like members of Congress, judges cannot be furloughed. Also exempted are law clerks and other “chambers” staff employees."
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It's official. President Obama has signed the order for sequester.
Here is the text of the statement he made today.
Memo to CBS News: You've been added to the do not read list for automatically playing videos when readers click on a link to your news articles.
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Apparently, we are hours away from a sequester. Obama is meeting with House leaders. No agreement is expected.
If the sequester kicks in, the New York Times says this is what will happen. What I learned from that article: Nothing. It seems nobody knows (which I guess was the point of the article.)
Are cuts coming to law enforcement? Will there be fewer arrests? Will the Bureau of Prisons budget be cut so that more prisoners have to be released? I'd bet not.
What do you think the cuts will mean?
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