US Senate Committee Advances Bill That Would Create 63 Federal Judgeships

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are supporting a new bill that would create dozens of new district court judgeships in the country.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously advanced the Judicial Understaffing Delays Getting Emergencies Solved (JUDGES) Act, which would authorize 63 new permanent district court judgeships and three new temporary district court judgeships. The bill now goes to the full Senate.

Sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, the bill aims to lessen the load for district courts “as dockets become overburdened,” says a news release from committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin. The Illinois Democrat says Congress hasn’t created a new federal judgeship since 2003, noting that the Judicial Conference of the United States, which serves as the policymaking body for the federal courts, recommended that Congress create 66 new district court judges.

The Judicial Conference last year recommended that Congress create two permanent appeals court judgeships and 66 permanent district court judgeships. The last time Congress passed a comprehensive judgeship bill was 1990.

After the bill cleared the committee, ranking member Sen. Lindsay Graham, a South Carolina Republican, told Bloomberg Law that he’s “never seen the committee work together more collaboratively.”

Read more about the legislation here.