Judicial Conference committees review issues within their established jurisdictions and make policy recommendations to the Conference. The committees are policy-advisory entities and are not involved in making day-to-day management decisions for the United States courts or for the Administrative Office. Judicial Conference committees derive their jurisdiction and legal basis for existence from the Conference itself and the Chief Justice as presiding officer. The committees and their chairs have no independent authority or charge apart from those conferred upon them by the Conference or its Executive Committee.
Matters Before Committees
All matters to go before the Judicial Conference are ordinarily considered by a committee prior to Conference consideration. Sources for matters to be studied and considered by Conference committees include, among others, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Executive Committee, the jurisdictional statements of Conference committees, the Conference Secretary (Director of the Administrative Office), Congress, statutory requirements, federal judges, circuit judicial councils, and other Conference committees.
Requests for consideration of items by the Judicial Conference of the United States or one of its committees should be directed to the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
The Chief Justice has sole authority to make committee appointments. The Director of the Administrative Office and the Judicial Conference Secretariat Officer, collate the expressed interests of judges and the recommendations of others who may be considered for appointments, and the Director forwards the suggestions to the Chief Justice.
Committee appointments rotate on the first of October each year. As a general rule, committee appointments are for a term of three years, subject to one reappointment. Terms are staggered to minimize turnover each year.
Judges who desire committee service or wish to recommend others for assignments may make their interests or recommendations known at any time, in writing, to the Director of the Administrative Office (Attention: Judicial Conference Secretariat). A permanent file is maintained for reference during the annual appointment process.