Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Roberts Seeks to Boost Some Judiciary Spending After Cuts

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts said Congress should restore some of the money cut from the federal judiciary budget in 2013, which he said forced staff reductions and delayed trials.

“The future would be bleak” if federal court spending were frozen at the level required by the 5 percent spending cut, known as sequestration, that took effect in March, the chief justice said in his annual year-end report.

“The first consequence would be greater delays in resolving civil and criminal cases,” Roberts wrote. In criminal cases, “those consequences pose a genuine threat to public safety,” he wrote.

The judiciary takes up only 0.2 percent of all federal spending and started reducing costs on its own in 2004, the chief justice said. Since July 2011, federal courts cut staffing by 14 percent, to the lowest level since 1997, although caseloads have risen significantly during the last 16 years, Roberts wrote.

Congress added some money for the judiciary as part of an agreement reached in October to fund government operations. The courts are seeking a $7 billion budget for fiscal 2014 that would restore some staff and funding for programs including probation and pretrial services, as well as drug and mental-health testing and treatment, the chief justice said.

Freezing funds for court security “would result in a deepening threat to public safety at courts around the country,” Roberts wrote.

“It takes no imagination to see that failing to meet the judiciary’s essential requirements undermines the public’s confidence in all three branches of government,” he wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurie Asseo in Washington at lasseo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.