Judicial Conference asks Congress for 75 new, converted federal judgeships—2 of them at appellate level

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The U.S. Judicial Conference is recommending that Congress create two more permanent judgeships with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco and dozens of new judgeships at the district court level.

The Judicial Conference, the policymaking body for the federal court system, is asking for 66 new permanent judgeships at the district court level, according to a March 14 press release. The conference is also seeking the conversion of seven temporary district court judgeships to permanent status and the extension of two temporary district court judgeships for an additional five years.

The Central District of California would get the most new judges under the Judicial Conference proposal. The conference seeks nine new judgeships in that district and the conversion of one temporary judgeship to permanent status. Two other districts that would get the second highest number of judgeships are the Western District of Texas and the Northern District of California. They would each get six new judgeships.

In all, 30 federal court districts would get new judgeships under the proposal.

The Judicial Conference is basing its recommendation on a formal survey of workload that takes into account case filings and the time that district judges need to resolve various types of matters.

The conference usually requires courts to have more than 430 weighted filings per judge to recommend additional judgeships. In fiscal year 2022, weighted filings were higher than 500 per judgeship in 17 of the 30 courts where new judgeships are being sought. In eight of those district, weighted filings exceeded 600 per judgeship. In three, weighted filings were more than 700 per judgeship.

Despite “regular requests” by the federal judiciary, Congress hasn’t passed a comprehensive bill authorizing new judgeships for more than 30 years, Bloomberg Law reports.

A failed bill introduced in 2021 would have created 77 new district court judgeships and split their effective dates between 2025 and 2029, according to Law360.

Law.com also has coverage of the request.

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