Looming Budget Cuts Threaten Access to Justice, JAS Warns

Justice at Stake warned on Monday that if a bipartisan resolution is not reached quickly, “our federal courts are at risk of severe damage” from deep, across-the-board deep funding cuts set to take effect March 1. The cuts are called “sequestration.”

“For the federal judiciary, this means an automatic 5.1% reduction in funds to an already woefully underfunded branch of government,” Bert Brandenburg, JAS executive director, said in a statement. He said the American people would feel the impact:

“As partisans engage in another round of political brinkmanship, the American people and businesses face increasingly delayed justice. When they can least afford it, taxpayers will be forced to pick up the tab for raised incarceration costs caused by delays. And at a time when the country needs them focused on hiring, businesses will be consumed with court backlogs.”

Brandenburg also said that the courts have worked aggressively to cut costs, a fact that was noted by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in his annual year-end Report on the Federal Judiciary (see Gavel Grab).

In November, Justice at Stake expressed similar concerns in a letter to congressional leaders (see Gavel Grab for background).

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