Thursday, June 2, 2011

Arizona Has a Caseload Problem; So Where are the New Judges? - Law Blog - WSJ

Arizona Has a Caseload Problem; So Where are the New Judges? - Law Blog - WSJ

Since 2009, the Obama administration has been beefing up federal law enforcement in southern Arizona. The influx of 2,000 additional Border Patrol agents on the southern frontier over the past two years has led to a 65 percent boost in criminal cases — many involving illegal immigration. That surge would clog most federal courts, but Arizona faces an even more serious challenge: three vacancies for federal judges in Tucson.

As a result, the remaining judges there each currently have about 1,200 criminal cases pending. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees Arizona, recently declared a “judicial emergency,” slowing the speedy trial requirement in criminal cases for the first time since Manhattan federal courts did so after the Sept. 11 attacks.

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