Skip to main content

View Diary: Federal chief judges plead with Congress to lift sequester (58 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  But it also affects judges and others with power (0+ / 0-)

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:23:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It annoys them and makes their jobs harder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      to do.  It doesn't take away their power or take money out of their wallets.  Comparatively, the poor and powerless bear the brunt far more than those who operate and run the system.  

      •  To elaborate: judges have life tenure and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        get paid whether the system runs well or not.  It's the good judges who care about justice and fairness to parties that are hurt by the sequester.  The doods who just like to sit on the bench and collect a paycheck aren't affected one bit.  

    •  No it doesn't. (0+ / 0-)

      People really need to understand how cuts to the judiciary's budget actually operate, because as usual, "judges and others with powers" aren't suffering much at all.

      First, Congress cannot constitutionally lower the salaries or other compensation of sitting federal judges.  So the judges themselves haven't lost a penny because of the sequester.

      Second, those with power usually have money.  Money permits them to buy their way out of the federal judicial system if need be.  (Just as the wealthy buy their way out of many public services.)  If cuts to the judiciary's budget make the federal courts too slow to be an attractive forum for dispute resolution, corporations simply agree to alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  Unlike the average person, they have plenty of money to pay the fees of arbitrators, so they can shell out the bucks necessary to have their disputes resolved in a private, non-judicial forum.

      Unlike the wealthy and large corporations, small businesses and average Americans don't have those kinds of options.  What the sequester cuts to the judiciary mean for them is less access to speedy and inexpensive justice.  

      Finally, the federal judiciary is hardly alone in feeling the pinch of this country's idiotic austerity policies.  State courts across the nation have suffered the same fate.  Here in California, the judicial branch budget has been cut by some 30%.  In my home town of San Francisco, the superior court has laid off almost half its staff.  And as always, the people who lose out are the ones who are too poor to afford anything other than a publicly funded forum for dispute resolution.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:59:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site