In his annual report on the state of the federal judiciary, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. today said the third branch of government is doing more than its share to reduce expenditures at a time of fiscal crisis. He also called on both the executive and legislative branches to "act diligently in nominating and confirming highly qualified candidates" to fill long-lingering judicial vacancies in the lower courts.
As he boasted about the judiciary's thriftiness, Roberts took note of the fiscal cliff negotiations consuming the nation's capital, and the "longer term problem of a truly extravagant and burgeoning national debt. No one seriously doubts that the country's fiscal ledger has gone awry." Roberts hastened to add that "the public properly looks to its elected officials to craft a solution. We in the judiciary stand outside the political arena, but we can continue to do our part to address the financial challenges within our sphere."
The Supreme Court itself continues to trim its budget, requesting ever-lower levels of appropriation. For fiscal year 2014, Roberts said, the court will submit a $74.89 million budget request -- a 3.7 percent decrease from the fiscal 2011 level, with cuts coming "primarily in the areas of financial and human resources management."