June 21, 2024

Todd Young's bill to add more federal judges advances through U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Article origination IPB News
U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) has worked for years to add more federal judgeships around the country, to help reduce case backlogs. - Brandon Smith / IPB News

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) has worked for years to add more federal judgeships around the country, to help reduce case backlogs.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

U.S. Sen. Todd Young’s (R-Ind.) years-long effort to add more federal judges across the country is advancing in the U.S. Senate.

The latest version of the bill — co-authored with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) — cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously.

Congress hasn’t added more federal judges in more than 20 years. That’s the longest gap since the federal judiciary was created in 1789. And Young said there’s a critical need.

“If you don’t have access to a speedy trial, you really don’t have access to justice,” Young said.

As of March 2023, there were nearly 700,000 pending cases in federal district courts.
 

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Young’s bill, the JUDGES Act, would add 66 judges, split between 2025 and 2029, after presidential elections.

“We relied on what are independent recommendations of, I think, an entity — the Judicial Conference — that is widely respected and has not become politicized,” Young said.

Young said spreading out the judgeships would also help the fiscal impact.

Indiana’s southern district would receive a new judge in the first wave.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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