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October 14, 2013
Could (and should) all federal district court judges consider going on strike for a few days?
The question in the title of this post was the question which came to mind after seeing these recent press reports about how bad matters are getting in the federal trial courts as a consequence of the double-whammy of sequester and the government shut-down:
From the National Law Journal here, "Federal Judges Push Back: In some courts, all employees 'essential'"
From Politico here, "Government shutdown: 'It is time to tell Congress to go to hell'"
Having every federal district court judge refuse to show up for work seems much more likely to happen in a Fed Courts exam question than in reality. Interesting legal questions and issues aside, wouldn't it send an especially strong message to Congress and the President if a whole lot of federal judges started coming down with the blue flu?
October 14, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Permalink
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I say they should have a one day work stoppage of sorts. Close the USSC today, for instance. Send a message.
Posted by: Joe | Oct 14, 2013 11:02:14 AM
Doug: While having federal judges come down with the blue flu might send a strong message to the President and Congress, it would send the wrong message to the citizens. I think the a primary function of the Judiciary is to promote a belief among the populace that the government is legitimate in fact. Not showing up, failing to adjudicate important cases and issues (at least in the minds of the parties) puts the judiciary on the same level as the politicians. By showing up and doing the work in spite of the politicians' destructive actions increases the perception that the judiciary is legitimate.
Posted by: ? | Oct 14, 2013 11:12:47 AM
Yes. Strike, and never come back. See the economy boom, when these judges are not ruining it. See the public punish the criminals themselves, ending crime.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 14, 2013 12:25:16 PM
Interestingly, the Federal courts were closed today, Monday, October 14th, for Columbus Day. The fenced, gated, parking lot at the Federal Courthouse here in Lexington, Ky. was almost empty today.
Posted by: Jim Gormley | Oct 14, 2013 4:05:25 PM
Interesting perspective, ?, but does "showing up and doing the work" in a necessarily "poor man's way" help or hurt the legitimacy of the judiciary, especially if budget woes undermine the full and fair adjudication of cases and issues?
The complaints from the judiciary about the impact of the sequester and budget cuts are that the quality of justice is necessarily being diminished by a lack of adequate funding: a "blue flu" statement from judges that we refuse to "show up and doing the work" under these conditions --- because doing so hampers our ability to fully and fairly adjudicate important cases and issues --- might arguably increase the perception that the judiciary is legitimate.
I am just thinking out loud here, and I appreciate all thoughtful comments in response.
Posted by: Doug B. | Oct 14, 2013 4:30:40 PM
Federal judges can only reasonably be expected to do the work they have the resources to do. Caseloads per judge are up and cases seem to be more and more complex. If judicial support staff are not at work, judges can't do as much work as they could otherwise do. It's not a strike or "blue flu." It's just common sense.
Posted by: C | Oct 14, 2013 6:15:28 PM
Maybe the judges should require the Government to prove that any criminal case could not be prosecuted in state court. If the Government can't do that for any given case, that case goes to the back of the line. Defendants get recognizance bonds, and speedy trial time runs against the Government. If the cases are important enough, the states will step up. If not, then the Justice Department was just wasting federal tax dollars anyway.
Dockets will get a lot cleaner. Lots of money will be saved. And tea partiers, conservatives, and libertarians who claim they support limited federal government should applaud.
Posted by: S. Hardwick | Oct 14, 2013 7:58:28 PM
Is the economy doing better or worse since the sequester? Is crime going up or down since then?
In rent seeking, taxes are collected at the point of a gun, and no value is returned to the taxpayer. Or in the case of federal judges, massive damages are done to the economy by plundering, wrongful tort litigation. Total terror is dealt on the public by the coddling of criminals, dropping real estate values. All PC is case inflicted on our nation by these judges. PC caused 9/11, taking out $7 trillion from our economy, and killing 3000 of our people. These judges have allowed the feminist lawyer to destroy the black family, and to begin the assault on the white family, now crumbling as well. They are on the witch hunt for the productive male.
They believe in supernatural doctrines, and impose them on the public. They are the enforcers for the Inquisition being carried out by the lawyer hierarchy. They generate massive income by the oppression of the middle class in false regulatory enforcement.
So they are strongly encouraged to take time off to make any point they wish.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 15, 2013 12:34:46 AM