How to Use the Appropriations Process to Fix the Court(s)
Last week, Fix the Court submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee charged with allocating money to the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary.
Why’d we do it? Well, we believe that Congress has the power to appropriate funds for several pro-transparency fixes, detailed below.
First, we believe that Supreme Court justices should be able to avail themselves of the same conflict-check software used by the rest of the federal judiciary, especially since, over the last few years, the justices have on several occasions missed statutory conflicts.
Second, we’d like the circuit courts to create a live audio pilot program run by the Administrative Office. Audio recording equipment already exists in every appellate courtroom in the country, and court officials in circuits that already livestream could assist their colleagues should any challenges with deployment occur.
Third, we requested funding for circuit-wide judicial wellness seminars. With senior judges are handling a quarter of all federal court cases, we want to be sure that they have the resources they need to identify signs of cognitive decline and to mitigate them.
Finally, we’d like the AO to hire additional directors of workplace relations in the circuit courts that have yet to do so. These positions would assist judges and other judiciary employees understand what is expected of them conduct-wise and where they can go if they have been a victim of harassment or other misconduct.