Congestion in the Courts

November 16, 1960

Report Outline
Shortage of Judge and Delays in Court
Causes of Persisting Court Congestion
Procedural Changes to Expedite Justice

Shortage of Judge and Delays in Court

Need to Create Additional Federal Judgeships

Enactment of legislation creating additional federal judgeships to help relieve the heavy work load of the federal judiciary will be one of the urgent tasks facing the 87th Congress when it convenes in January. Federal dockets, especially in the district courts, are badly crowded. From 25 to 50 new judgeships are needed to eliminate congestion which in some jurisdictions now delays actual trial of cases for as much as four years.

The situation in the federal courts has got so far out of hand that, if no new cases were filed next year, it would still take more than 11 months to dispose of the 75,000 civil and criminal cases already pending. Attorney General William P. Rogers, addressing a closed session of the Judicial Conference of the United States last Sept. 21, said that new judgeships were necessary “if the federal system is to cope with the increased litigation arising from our expanding population.”

Chief Justice Earl Warren told the American Bar Association as long ago as August 1958 that:

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Challenges of the Courts
Nov. 04, 2022  Conservatorships
Jan. 14, 2011  Cameras in the Courtroom
Oct. 22, 1993  Science in the Courtroom
May 27, 1988  Protecting Rights in State Courts
Oct. 07, 1983  Court Backlog
Jan. 16, 1981  Television in the Courtroom
Jun. 03, 1970  Reform of the Courts
Nov. 16, 1960  Congestion in the Courts
Mar. 07, 1956  Cameras in Court
Jul. 18, 1939  Reform of Lower Federal Courts
Feb. 04, 1936  Restriction of Powers of Federal Courts
Apr. 14, 1931  Reform of Magistrates' Courts
Federal Courts
Judicial Appointments
Supreme Court History and Decisions