U.S. Judiciary: Chief Justice John Roberts Issues 2012 Year-End Report

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States, issued a 2012 year-end report on the judiciary.

The Chief Justice essentially presents the judiciary as a branch that is acting responsibly with its budget but cannot reduce its budget further without affecting the quality of judicial services.

Considering the size of the judiciary budget (fiscal year 2012–$6.97 billion appropriations request out of a total U.S. budget of $3.7 trillion), it appears that the branch is taking appropriate steps. The Chief Justice listed three main areas that the judiciary is focusing on: rent, personnel, and information technology. In the Chief Justice’s discussion, there is a discussion of the exploration of sharing administrative services within a judicial district. Because some judicial districts span over a large georgraphical area, I would be interested in receiving a bit more detail as to how this idea will be placed into practice.

[Note 1: Judicial pay is the same as for 2010. See Executive Order ____, schedule 7 (http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2012/2013PAY_Attach.pdf).]

In the appendix to the report, the Chief Justice provides and explanation of the workload of the judiciary. I will focus on the Supreme Court’s workload.

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Filings

8521

8857

8241

7738

8159

7857

7713

In forma pauperis

6846

7132

6627

6142

6576

6299

6160

Paid docket

1671

1723

1614

1596

1583

1558

1553

Cases:

argued

87

78

75

87

82

86

79

disposed

82

74

72

83

77

83

73

signed opinions

69

67

67

74

73

75

83

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