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Due to what one federal judge called a “relentless” increase in case volume over the past 15 years, the federal courts requested 68 new judgeships last week. U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson of San Antonio told the Senate on Nov. 17 that 12 additional court of appeals judgeships and 56 more district court judgeships are needed. No circuit court judgeships have been created since 1990, though appellate caseloads have grown 58 percent since then. Speaking for the Judicial Conference of the United States, Furgeson told the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts that caseloads in the district courts have risen 40 percent since 1990. During that period, Congress created 34 new district judgeships, but it has yet to grant the number of new seats requested by the judiciary. “The conference does not recommend or wish indefinite growth,” Furgeson told the senators. “However, as long as federal court jurisdiction continues to expand, there must be a sufficient number of judges.”
Lily Henning can be contacted at [email protected].

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