Law Center - POSTED: 2012/12/31 20:38
Urging full financial support for the U.S. court system, Chief Justice John Roberts said in his year-end report Monday that the federal judiciary, unlike executive branch agencies, does not have discretionary programs it can eliminate or projects it can postpone.
The judiciary has been doing its part to carefully manage "its tiny portion of the federal budget" and because the courts have already pursued cost-containment so aggressively, it will become increasingly difficult to economize further without reducing the quality of judicial services, said Roberts.
The chief justice's report came amid a New Year's Eve drama as President Barack Obama worked with Congress to avert the fiscal cliff. The White House and congressional Republicans agreed to block across-the-board tax increases set for midnight, but held up a final deal as they haggled away the final hours of 2012 in a dispute over spending cuts.
Virtually all of the judiciary's core functions are constitutionally and statutorily required, Roberts said in his year-end report.