Federal Courts Brace for Impact of Possible Budget Cuts

Should Congress fail to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” federal courts risk losing $555 million and will see many layoffs for non-judicial employees, reports Thomson Reuters.

Two thousand employees stand to lose their jobs under the budget cuts. Charles Hall, spokesman for the Administrative Office of the Courts, says that individual district and circuit courts will decide whether to absorb the cuts through layoffs, furloughs, or a combination of both.

Assistance for pro se litigants and information technology projects could be scaled back, Hall said.

Seymour James, the president of the New York State Bar Association, says that the judiciary “needs resources in order to perform. To have the work curtailed is not good for democracy.”

Attorney General Eric Holder stated at a forum in Boston this week that almost all civil cases before the Justice Department would need to be put on hold if the country goes over the fiscal cliff.

According to a Main Justice article, Holder said that cases not affecting public safety would be postponed.

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