Main content

Judicial Conference Convenes Biannual Meeting

Contact: David Sellers, 202-502-2600

The Judicial Conference of the United States today disapproved a proposed amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which would have required the initial empaneling of a jury of 12 persons in all civil cases. The Conference's Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure expects to study the issue further.

The Conference also received a report from Chief Judge Richard Arnold, chair of its budget committee, who indicated that earlier this month the Chief Justice wrote to congressional leaders asking that action be taken to ensure continuous funding for the Judiciary in fiscal year 1997. In his September 13 letter, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote, "Full year funding is the only way to ensure that the courts have the resources necessary to provide our citizens with the judicial services to which they are entitled." As of today, the Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary appropriations bill has passed the House, but has not yet been taken up by the full Senate. The new fiscal year begins October 1.

The Conference also voted today to authorize the Administrative Office to transmit to Congress a request for an additional 21 permanent and 12 temporary district court judgeships. The new judgeship request follows detailed reviews by the courts and the Conference's Judicial Resources Committee. New Article III judgeships were last created in December 1990. A list of the new judgeships requested is attached.

The Judicial Conference of the United States is the principal policy-making body for the federal court system. It is chaired by the Chief Justice of the United States and composed of the chief judges of the 13 courts of appeals, a district judge from each of the 12 geographic circuits, and the chief judge of the Court of International Trade. The chair of the Executive Committee of the Conference presides when the Chief Justice is not present. The Conference meets twice a year to consider administrative and policy issues affecting the court system, and to make recommendations to Congress concerning legislation involving the Judicial Branch. A list of Conference members is attached.

1996 Biennial Survey: U.S. District Courts Recommendations for Additional Judgeships

District Current Judgeships Judicial Conference Recommendations
Total   21P, 12T*
Second Circuit
New York-Northern 5 1T
New York- Eastern 15 3P
New York-Western 4 1T
Fourth Circuit
North Carolina-Western 3 2P
South Carolina 9 1T
Fifth Circuit
Louisiana-Middle 2 1T
Sixth Circuit
Kentucky-Eastern 4.5 1T
Tennessee-Eastern 5 1T
Seventh Circuit
Indiana-Southern 5 1T
Ninth Circuit
Arizona 8 2P
California-Eastern 7 1P,1T
California-Southern 8 2P
Nevada 4 2P
Oregon 6 1P
Washington-Western 7 1T
Tenth Circuit
Colorado 7 1P,1T
New Mexico 5 1P,1T
Eleventh Circuit
Alabama-Middle 3 1P
Florida-Middle 11 3P,1T
Florida-Southern 16 2P

P= Permanent

T= Temporary. In a district where there is a temporary judgeship, the first vacancy that occurs 5 years after the date of confirmation of the judge appointed to that position, shall not be filled. 1 Includes 21 judgeships previously approved by the Judicial Conference in September 1994.

For additional information on this or any other Judiciary-related topic, contact:

The Office of Public Affairs at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 1 Columbus Circle, NE, Washington, DC 20544. Or telephone: (202)273-1120. Or contact us at our website:

Related Topics: Judicial Conference of the United States