U.S. Judiciary: House and Senate Appropriations Committees Issue Reports–House Encourages Increased Outreach to Minority Law Students for Clerkships; Senate Bill Provides COLA

The Congress has issued reports on Appropriations legislation. I will focus on a portion of the bills that apply to the judicial branch. For full details on the reports for the other bills, see the Library of Congress.

The House Financial Services and General Government subcommittee of the Appropriations committee issued a report for the judiciary, as well as other government agencies within its jurisdiction and the District of Columbia. For the judiciary, the subcommittee stated that the goal of its bill “is to provide sufficient resources for the Federal Courts to perform their functions of dispensing equal justice under law in a fair, careful, and efficient manner.” Among several other items, the subcommittee encourages the judicial branch to examine ways to increase outreach to minority law students to increase their participation in law clerk jobs.

The Senate Financial Services and General Government subcommittee of the Appropriations committee also issued a report which included the judicial branch. The subcommittee stated that its funding levels “support the Federal judiciary’s role of providing equal justice under the law and include sufficient funds to support this critical mission.” Unlike the House Bill, the Senate Bill provides for a cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for the Supreme Court Justices and the judges in the judicial branch.

The language of the Senate’s COLA provision is:  “Sec. 307. Pursuant to section 140 of Public Law 97-92, and from funds appropriated in this Act, Justices and judges of the United States are authorized during fiscal year 2010, to receive a salary adjustment in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 461.”

Presumably, the differences in bill language will be resolved in the conference committee.

For more information

Public Law 97-92, sec. 140. (CRS Report)

H. 3170

House Report 111-202

S. 1432

Senate Report 111-43