FBA Supports the Federal Courts' FY 2015 Funding Request


The Federal Bar Association has urged Congress to provide nearly $7 billion in funding for the federal courts for next year, at the level requested by the federal judiciary.

In April 18 letters to House and Senate appropriations lawmakers, FBA Executive Director Karen Silberman and Government Relations Chair West Allen urged Congress “provide the funds necessary for the federal courts to fulfill their constitutional and statutory responsibilities.” “This is important work, vital to the health of our nation, its people and our economy,” they said.

The federal courts are slowly recovering from several years of essentially flat funding, followed by sequestration cuts in FY 2013. Congress earlier this year provided the Judiciary with a 5.1 percent increase in discretionary appropriations above the FY 2013 sequestration level, essentially restoring the federal Judiciary to pre-sequestration funding levels and permitting the reversal of the emergency measures imposed by sequestration.

“Our members witness the daily need for adequate funding for the federal courts through their reliance on the courts to fairly and promptly administer justice,” Silberman and West wrote. “Their clients, whether defendants or plaintiffs, enter the courts in civil and criminal disputes with the same expectations.”

Thirty-five FBA leaders visited Capitol Hill offices on April 24 during the FBA’s Capitol Hill Day advocacy event to educate lawmakers and staff on the funding needs of the courts. Less than two percent of one penny of each dollar of taxpayer revenues is spent for the needs of the federal judicial branch and its court units. “We succeeded in expanding the understanding of House and Senate lawmakers about the needs of the federal courts and the timely administration of justice,” Government Relations Chair West Allen said of FBA’s Capitol Hill Day advocacy efforts.

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