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Report – Federal Judicial Vacancies: The Trial Courts

Federal Judicial Vacancies: The Trial Courts – July 2, 2013. Brennan Center for Justice.

“Unusually high judicial vacancy levels coupled with unprecedented workloads are burdening federal district courts like never before. Judicial vacancies have remained uniquely high throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, with annual vacancies averaging significantly higher than those experienced during George W. Bush’s presidency. As seats remain unfilled, millions of Americans who rely on district courts are being denied the justice they deserve. The President and the Senate must find a way to avoid fill these crucial seats…The high number of vacant judgeships limits the capacity of district courts to dispense justice and affects the millions of Americans who rely on district courts to resolve lawsuits and protect their rights. District courts are the workhorses of the federal judicial system, resolving legal disputes, conducting civil and criminal trials, and overseeing cases from filing to termination. These courts touch the lives of everyone from the small business owner in a contract dispute, to the family targeted by consumer fraud, to the artist protecting her copyright from infringement. When district courts are not functioning efficiently, it reverberates throughout our entire judicial system.”

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