Roberts renews call for court funding

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Associated Press

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 1 at 4:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief Justice John Roberts says Congress and the White House need to restore funding to the nation's federal courts to keep from undermining, in his words, "the public's confidence in all three branches of government."

Roberts says the federal court system has been severely impacted by cost-cutting over the years that's reduced court staffing to the lowest level since 1997 despite an increased workload. But if sequester-level funding continues, Roberts says there will be more staff cutbacks leading to what he calls "greater delays in resolving civil and criminal cases."

Court officials are calling for more than $7 billion in funding for fiscal year 2014, which they calculate at less than two-tenths of 1 percent of total federal outlays.

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