Relieving the Heavy Federal Judicial Caseload

by Ed Whelan

According to this article, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday at which federal judges “spoke about the thankless grind of overwhelming caseloads.” Senator Christopher Coons’s proposed remedy is to add 91 new federal judgeships.

Adding new judges would be one way to relieve the caseload. But, given our country’s long-term fiscal problems, I’d suggest that a better way is to reduce the number of cases in the federal system by eliminating federal causes of action (especially those that are duplicative of state causes of action) and possibly by restricting jurisdiction. I wish that Congress would give some careful thought to this alternative.

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