Alliance for Justice Report Describes the Judicial Emergencies Affecting Federal Courts in the Wake of the Slow Pace of Senate Action on Judicial Nominees
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Washington, D.C., September 27, 2010—The historically slow pace of Senate confirmations of President Barack Obama’s nominees to the federal courts has had a dramatic and detrimental effect on the functioning of both district and circuit courts of appeal, according to new research from Alliance for Justice. The detailed report reveals that there are currently 48 officially designated “judicial emergencies” in the federal courts, affecting 10 circuit courts and 38 district courts. The emergencies, which are identified by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, reflect the consequences of having too few judges to handle the courts’ case loads, thereby significantly delaying hearings and trials, impeding timely justice, and creating untenable burdens on judges.
Among the report’s findings are:
The AFJ report’s extensive statistical analysis concludes that, “The failure to confirm nominees to seats considered Judicial Emergencies harms litigants, judges, and, ultimately, the public’s confidence in our judiciary. When these seats are left unfilled, every litigant in our legal system—whether it be a civil rights plaintiff or a large corporation—is denied the quick resolution of cases. Moreover, sitting judges in affected districts are saddled with increased caseloads, adding to an already burdensome situation. If left unaddressed, the lack of judges in these seats will undermine the public’s confidence in our courts’ ability to dispense timely justice and uphold the rule of law.”
For a copy of the report on judicial emergencies: http://www.afj.org/check-the-facts/nominees/afj-judicial-emergencies-report.pdf
For a copy of AFJ’s recent report summarizing the historically slow process of judicial confirmations in the first 20 months of the Obama Administration: http://www.afj.org/check-the-facts/nominees/afj-report-state-of-the-judiciary-obama-at-20-months.pdf
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Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For more than 30 years, AFJ has led the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women's rights, children's, senior citizens' and other groups. Alliance for Justice is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have our voices heard when government makes decisions that affect our lives.