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Filling the federal bench
The federal judicial bench is dangerously understaffed: 10% of district judgeships lie vacant and 8% of appellate judgeships languish unoccupied. Meanwhile, the press of federal judicial business has become so great that the Administrative Office for the United States Courts has classified about half of existing vacancies as "judicial emergencies." In his 2010 report on the state of the federal courts, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. underscored the "persistent problem" of judicial vacancies, emphasizing that judges in overburdened districts confront "acute difficulties" and shoulder "extraordinary caseloads."
By Robert C. Post and Daniel Schuker
December 14, 2012