October 2, 2020

Young Introduces JUDGES Act to Address Judicial Emergencies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) this week introduced legislation to address the judicial emergencies taking place across America. Courts across the country are overworked and facing a shortage of federal judges. The Committee on Judicial Resources, a nonpartisan judicial group, recommended adding additional judgeships across a wide array of courts, including the Southern District of Indiana. The Judicial Understaffing Delays Getting Emergencies Solved (JUDGES) Act calls for acting on this report and increasing the number of federal district judges in the most overworked regions of the country.

“All Americans should be concerned about the judicial emergency we are facing in this country. People are being denied the opportunity to have their day in court due to an overload of cases and a shortage of judges,” said Senator Young. “My legislation will help Americans receive a timely day in court. It’s a longstanding issue only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and by civil unrest.”


Central and Southern Indiana courts are among the most overworked in the nation. In 2019, the judges in the Southern District of Indiana each had over 1,100 cases, which is almost three times the recommended number.


The last comprehensive authorization of new judgeships occurred in 1990, which established 11 additional circuit court judgeships and 74 district court judgeships across America. Since then, targeted legislation enacted between 1999 and 2003 created 34 additional district court judgeships. However, it has been over a decade and a half since Congress last authorized additional district judgeships.


As noted by the Committee on Judicial Resources, this lack of additional judgeships, combined with growing caseloads, creates challenges for many district courts. Last year, the Committee noted over two dozen district courts are struggling with sustained, high workloads and require further judgeships. 


The Committee’s report recommended additional judgeships across a wide array of courts, including the Southern District of Indiana, the District of Arizona, the Central District of California, the Eastern District of California, the Middle District of Florida, the District of New Jersey, and the Western District of Texas.


In July, Senator Young penned an op-ed about the need for this legislation. Read the op-ed HERE


Click HERE to view bill text.