U.S. Judiciary: Chief Justice John Roberts Issues 2010 Year-End Report

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States, issued a 2010 year-end report on the judiciary.

The report is relatively straightforward, laying out the goals of the judicial branch and its position on handling the financial constraints of the government and seeking additional judges for busy judicial districts.

The Chief Justice mentioned that while the U.S. judicial system is a model for the world, there is no place for complacency and thus courts must adapt to change.

The judiciary has responded to the call for change by issuing its Strategic Plan for the Federal Judiciary, which identifies seven issues critical to the future operation of the federal courts. [The “Strategic¬† Plan” is located at www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FederalCourts/Publications/StrategicPlan2010.pdf.]

The Chief Justice noted that there are two obstacles to the goals the judiciary seeks–the economic downturn and the lack of judges in busy judicial districts.¬† The Chief Justice explains that the judiciary is doing its part to make the best use of the monies given to the judicial branch. The Chief Justice asks the Executive and Legislative branches of government to resolve the problem of judicial vacancies.

[Note 2: Judicial pay is the same as for 2010. See Executive Order 13561 (http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2010/2011PAY_Attach1.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 Courts workload.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Filings 8521 8857 8241 7738 8159
In forma pauperis 6846 7132 6627 6142 6576
Paid docket 1671 1723 1614 1596 1583
argued 87 78 75 87 82
disposed 82 74 72 83 77
signed opinions 69 67 67 74 73