Federal judicial leaders are warning that the nation’s courts could sufferdire consequences if Congress fails to pour more money into their 2000budget.

Court officials are concerned about a current Senate plan to slash millionsfrom salary, defender services, and security requests. They say the upperchamber’s $3.8 billion proposal could mean the layoff of as many as 2,300staffers around the country, severe shortfalls in payments to lawyers forindigent defendants, and lapses in courthouse security.

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