Federal judges and law professors on Wednesday called on Congress to expand lower courts, describing systemic case delays and fears that the public will abandon litigation as judges face staggering dockets.

The federal judiciary has repeatedly pushed for new judgeships, but none have been created since a handful were established in 2002 and no comprehensive legislation on the topic has been passed since 1990. Senators last year seemed ready to add federal judgeships ahead of the presidential election, but when the pandemic relief package that would have housed that bill failed to materialize, so did the new seats.

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