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January 1, 2008

Chief seeking more love and more money in the New Year

As all true law geeks know, the first few minutes of th new year always brings an end-of-year report on federal judiciary from the Chief Justice of the United States.  The report from CJ Roberts this year, which is available here, urges appreciation for the work of the American judiciary, seeks more effective inter-branch communication, emphasizes the importance of judicial integrity, and calls for passage of pending legislation to increase judges' pay.  Lyle Denniston provides a summary here at SCOTUSblog, and How Appealing assembles media coverage here.

Of course, I'm always interested in the Chief's report on caseload developments, which are still reflecting the impact of the Court's January 2005 Booker decision.  Here are a few caseload details from the year-end report:

The number of appeals filed in the regional courts of appeals in fiscal year 2007 decreased by 12% to 58,410. All categories of appeals, except bankruptcy appeals, fell. The decline of the past two years was the result of a reduction in appeals from administrative agency decisions involving the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), as well as decreases in criminal appeals and federal prisoner petitions brought about by the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).  The decline is the second successive drop after the record level set in fiscal year 2005.

Across the nation, the number of criminal appeals dropped by 14% to 13,167 filings, approaching levels that existed before criminal appeals soared in response to the decision in Booker....

The number of criminal cases filed in 2007 rose by 2% to 68,413 cases, and defendants in these cases increased 1% to 89,306.  The median case disposition time for defendants declined slightly from 7.1 months in 2006 to 7.0 months in 2007, yet this disposition time remains 21 days longer than in 2004, an indication of the time that courts have needed to process post-Booker cases.

January 1, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink


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