FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
August 15, 2013 Stephanie Cirkovich, (212) 805-0529
SDNY CHIEF JUDGE LORETTA PRESKA AND 86 OTHER CHIEF JUDGES TELL
ADEQUATELY PERFORM ITS RESPONSIBILITIES”
On Tuesday, August 13, Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska of United States District Court for theSouthern District of New York sent a letter to Congressional leaders that was signed by the Chief Judgesfrom 86 other federal jurisdictions across the country, detailing the impact that sequestration is having onthe Federal Judiciary's ability to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.
“[Funding reductions] have forced us to slash our operations to th
e bone, and we believe that our constitutional duties, public safety, and the quality of the justice system will be profoundly compromised by
any further cuts,” the letter read.
“grave concern” over the Judiciary’s ability to fulfill
its Constitutional and statutory mandates,the judges explained to Congress how public safety, courthouse security, and efficient processing of civil,criminal, and bankruptcy cases have already been diminished as a result of flat funding and sequestration.The judges also expressed a serious concern about
the judicial system’s future ability to assist indigent
defendants; federal defender organizations across the country have been forced to furlough or reduce staff at dramatic rates.Chief Judge Preska said of the letter
: “The Judiciary is unlike other government entities in that itcan’t scale back or eliminate programs and projects; we are
constitutionally bound to manage a workloadthat is not decreasing.
We have only people, and we can’t lose another person.”
The letter was sent to Vice President Joe Biden in his role as President of the Senate, SenateMajority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner,House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.###