Federal caseloads have risen 27 percent in the last decade and the judiciary will ask Congress for 67 new judgeships. But at least in the short term, the pressure appears to have eased in the last year, with court statistics showing a drop in new appeals, bankruptcy filings and new criminal cases.

More than 66,600 federal appeals and 1.1 million bankruptcy cases were filed in fiscal year 2006. District courts nationally saw 259,500 civil and 66,800 criminal cases filed, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

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