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Judiciary Funded For FY 2008
Fiscal year 2008 funding for the Judiciary was rolled up with 10
other appropriations bills and passed by Congress on December 19, 2007,
as the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The President signed the
bill into law the day after Christmas. The Judiciary received $6.246
billion in FY 2008, a 4.5 percent increase over FY 2007.
"Despite constrained allocations to our appropriations subcommittee, the
Judiciary was funded at an extremely good level," said Administrative
Office Director James C. Duff. "We believe this bill provides sufficient
resources to finance continuing operations in the courts and to address
thegrowth in workload, especially that associated with immigration
enforcement." In the Act, Congress directed that a $25 million emergency
appropriation be made available "to address critically understaffed
workload associated with increased immigration enforcement."
With the decision by Congressional leaders to reduce spending in order
to resolve a budget impasse with the President, FY 2008 had the
potential for being a particularly tight year for appropriations. For
most of the Executive Branch, it was. Final allocations for our
appropriations subcommittee were reduced by $1 billion below their
"Obtaining an increased funding level for the federal courts in such a
contentious budget environment demonstrates that the Judiciary remains a
funding priority for Congress," said Duff. "It also reflects the
concerted and sustained efforts of the Judicial Conference Budget
Committee led by Judge Julia Gibbons (6th Cir.), judges around the
country who are instrumental in our Congressional outreach initiative,
and our AO staff."
The Judiciary's Salaries and Expenses account received $4.623 billion.
At this level, the Executive Committee was able to approve a financial
plan that provides court units with an overall increase of 7.7 percent
in allotments over FY 2007. It is expected that those court units
experiencing workload increases—primarily district clerks and probation
and pretrial services offices—could continue to hire additional staff in
FY 2008. Immigration-related workload is addressed with $14.5 million
of the $25 million in emergency spending provided by Congress.
The Defender Services account received $846.1 million, or a 9 percent
increase over FY 2007. This includes the remaining $10.5 million of the
$25 million Congress provided in emergency spending for
immigration-related workload. The appropriation included an hourly pay
rate increase for criminal justice act attorneys.
The Court Security account received $410 million, an 8.3 percent
increase. Congress also approved a pilot project requested by the
Judiciary to have the U.S. Marshals Service assume perimeter security
functions, currently performed by the Federal Protective Service, at a
limited number of courthouses.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 also included general provisions that:
- create a place of holding court in Vancouver, in the Western District of Washington;
- extend the temporary judgeships in the District of Kansas and the Northern District of Ohio for one year; and
- give the Judiciary tenant alterations authority to contract directly
for projects costing under $100,000 in lieu of contracting through the
General Services Administration.