Chief Justice John Roberts On Fiscal Woes: Don't Look At Us | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Chief Justice John Roberts On Fiscal Woes: Don't Look At Us

Chief Justice John Roberts wants everyone to know the federal judiciary is doing its part to keep down government costs. Roberts used his year-end report on the state of the courts to point out that the judicial branch consumes "a miniscule portion of the federal budget" — about $7 billion in fiscal year 2012, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the total government budget.

"No one seriously doubts that the country's fiscal ledger has gone awry," Roberts wrote on a day when Congress and the White House strained to reach a last-minute deal to avert the combination of tax increases and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff. Bigger fights over what he called "the truly extravagant and burgeoning national debt" lie down the road.

For four years now, the judicial branch has been paring down rents and salaries, and saving money with technology, the chief justice said. But Roberts warned that "it will become increasingly difficult to economize further without reducing the quality of judicial services."

Some federal judges have already warned that more budget cuts could mean federal courthouses will close one day a week, and that civil cases could grind to a halt.

"A significant and prolonged shortfall in judicial funding would inevitably result in the delay or denial of justice for the people the courts serve," Roberts added.

He also urged President Obama and the Senate to move quickly to fill judicial vacancies in federal courts — especially in 27 slots designated as "emergencies" because of court workloads and the length of time in which the seats have gone unfilled.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
WAMU 88.5

Abortion Is Back In The Spotlight In Virginia

The state's current attorney general is overturning a ruling from the previous attorney general that would have shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state, and the issue isn't just about regulations and politics. It's also about money.
NPR

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

If someone is infected by the Loa loa worm, taking a drug to treat river blindness could be risky. Now there's a fast way to identify the worm — by turning a smartphone into a microscope.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.