Federal Judges Raise Alarm Over Sequester Cuts

Friday, 16 Aug 2013 08:58 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The chief judges in 87 U.S. district courts have joined together to denounce the sequester, which they say is having a "devastating" effect on the federal judiciary by forcing courts to "slash operations to the bones."

In a letter Thursday to Vice President Joe Biden and the House and Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees, the judges issued a stark warning that further automatic cutbacks would compromise public safety and the entire judicial system.

"We do not have projects or programs to cut; we only have people. We must adjudicate all civil and criminal cases that are filed with the courts," the judges wrote.

"Our workload does not diminish because of budget shortfalls . . . Another round of cuts would be devastating."

Their appeal comes in anticipation of the congressional debates set to begin in September over the 2014 budget and the nation's debt limit.

In March, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared before Congress and also warned that sequester cuts would be "unsustainable" over the long term.


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