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Fiscal Cliff Could Force Federal Courts to Lay Off 2,000 Employees

Posted Dec 11, 2012 12:12 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Federal chief judges received a letter last week warning of repercussions if Congress fails to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

According to the letter from the U.S. Judicial Conference, federal courts could be forced to lay off up to 2,000 employees or to furlough 20,000 employees for 16 days, report Fox News and Federal Times.

A staff cut of 2,000 people would amount to 10 percent of the federal courts’ workforce. The plan also calls for cuts in spending on information technology, limits on travel, and freezes on promotions.

The letter was signed by Chief Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who chairs the Judicial Conference’s executive committee. He warned that the staff cuts would carry "significant adverse impacts on judiciary operations and services."

Previous coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Grassley Wants Judiciary to Detail Fiscal-Cliff Spending Cuts, Derides ‘Chicken Little Mentality’ ”

ABAJournal.com: "Federal Judiciary Faces ‘Fiscal Cliff’ if Budget Act Is Not Adjusted, Says Editorial"

ABAJournal.com: "US Budget Impasse Could Eliminate All Federal Civil Jury Trials, Judicial Conference Leader Says"

ABAJournal.com: "Court Closings Announced; Illinois US District Courts Weigh Weekly Shutdowns"

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