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Courts To Congress: Send Money
Winston's only contact with courts is when he watches Law and Order reruns on TV, and those courts aren't even federal. Nonetheless, Winston is concerned that the federal courts claim that they don't have enough money to operate, or at least operate effectively, and are asking Congress for more money in fiscal year 2005. Their complaint is not unusual. Everyone claims they need more money from Congress just like everyone claims Congress spends too much money, but from what Winston has read, the judges have a good case.

The judges, or at least some of them, have written Congress claiming that failure to fund the federal judiciary in an amount significantly above fiscal year 2004 levels could cause "a financial crisis unlike anything in modern history." Many federal judicial districts warn that they cannot function at the currently approved level despite their best efforts at cost containment. Particularly hard hit are parolee programs such as drug treatment. In some districts, parol officers have as many as 20 cases more than allowed under federal guidelines. Several districts have told Congress that court staffing, supervision and treatment of defendants, and court proceedings will be adversely affected without increased funding.

The federal courts perform an essential role in this country. They should be given the funds they need to operate.

  • Click for article on federal judiciary crisis.

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