Page images
PDF
EPUB

in the first session of the 93d Congress by the subcommittee. However, the legislation is considered to be of major importance and the subcommittee plans to continue hearings at a future date.

TIIREE-JUDGE COURTS

In its last report, the subcommittee discussed in some detail the basis for the introduction of S. 3653 (92d Cong.), a bill to eliminate three-judge courts in cases seeking injunctions against the enforcement of States or Federal laws on the basis of their unconstitutionality, except where such courts are required by an Act of Congress or in cases involving the apportionment of Congressional districts or the apportionment of any statewide legislative body. It was felt as to these reapportionment cases that they are of such importance that a threejudge court should continue to be required.

The three-judge court provisions impose a considerable burden on the Federal courts because whenever such a court is required, a second district judge, as well as a judge of a circut court of appeals, must be brought in to hear and determine the case along with the district judge in whose court the case was filed. In most parts of the country, the two additional judges must come from another city or State, leaving the work that they would ordinarily be doing in their own courts, to serve on a three-judge court.

In the 93d Congress, Senator Burdick introduced a new bill, S. 271, which is identical to S. 3653. It was favorably approved by the subcommittee on May 30, 1973, unanimously approved by the full Committee on May 31, 1973, and passed the Senate on June 14, 1973. It is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

Senator Hruska sponsored S. 663, a bill to repeal three-judge courts in Interstate Commerce Commission cases. This legislation has been recommended by the Judicial Conference for several years. The bill would provide that review of ICC decisions would be in the circuit courts of appeal, as is the case in review of most regulatory agency decisions. S. 663 was approved by the subcommittee on November 13, 1973, by the full Committee on November 14, 1973, and passed the Senate on November 16, 1973. This measure is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

OTHER LEGISLATION AFFECTING JURISDICTION

The subcommittee has authorized and requested that the staff evaluate pending legislation to determine its judicial impact and, where appropriate, to make recommendations regarding jurisdictional provisions of the legislation. The subcommittee staff worked with the Commerce Committee in drafting jurisdictional provisions for S. 354, the National No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act, and the subcommittee will continue to play an active role in monitoring judicial impact.

Bills Disposed of and Pending in the House at Adjournment

S. 271: To amend the requirement for a three judge court in certain cases. Reported by this subcommittee, March 26, 1973. Reported to

Senate favorably, without amendment, June 12, 1973, S. Rept. 93–206. Passed Senate, as reported, June 14, 1973.

S. 663: To amend title 28 re judicial review of decision of the ICC. Reported by this subcommittee, November 13, 1973. Reported to the Senate, with amendments, November 14, 1973, S. Rept. 93–500. Passed Senate, as reported, November 16, 1973.

S. 1064: To amend title 28 to broaden and clarify the grounds for judicial disqualification. Reported by this subcommittee, September 11, 1973. Reported to the Senate, with amendments, October 3, 1973, S. Rept. 93-419. Passed the Senate, as reported, October 4, 1973.

Bills Pending in Committee at Adjournment S. 597: To provide for the appointment of additional district judges. Related bills are S. 253, S. 664, S. 790, S. 823, S. 1505, S. 1524, S. 1655 and S. 1710. Reported by this subcommittee, September 18, 1973.

Bills Pending in Subcommittee at Adjournment S. 120: To provide cost of living allowances to judicial employees stationed outside the Continental U.S. or Alaska and Hawaii.

S. 214: To provide for appointment of U.S. Marshalls by the Attorney General.

S. 253: To provide additional judge in Pennsylvania.

S. 288: To provide that petit juries in U.S. district courts shall consist of six jurors, except in trials for capital offenses.

S. 510: To provide for certain jury trials in condemnation proceedings in district courts of the U.S.

S. 572: To waive the statute of limitations with regard to the tort claims of certain individuals against the U.S.

S. 596: To revise the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
S. 664: To provide additional judge in New Hampshire. See S. 597.
S. 790: To provide additional judge in Arkansas. See S. 597.
S. 823: To provide additional judge in Alaska. See S. 597.

S. 973: To provide recovery of attorney's fees in certain actions by or against the U.S.

S. 1126: To grant a priority in the trial or disposition of cases involving a violation of federal law relating to narcotic drugs, marihuana,

or depressant or stimulant substances. S. 1174: To authorize District Court for Eastern District of Kentucky to hold court in Pineville, Kentucky.

S. 1175: To amend sec. 142 of title 28, U.S.C., relating to the furnishing of accommodations to judges of the courts of appeals of U.S.

S. 1178: To establish certain qualifications for individuals appointed to the Supreme Court.

S. 1422: To establish a National Institute of Justice.

S. 1504: To provide that district court for Western District of Michigan may be held in Muskegon, Michigan.

S. 1505: To provide an additional permanent judgeship for each of eastern and western districts of Michigan. See S. 597.

S. 1524: To provide one additional permanent district judgeship for South Carolina. See S. 597.

S. 1629 : To establish a Division of State Court Assistance in the Federal Judicial Center.

S. 1655: To provide an additional judgeship in Western District of New York. See S. 597.

S. 1710: To provide an additional judgeship Northern District of West Virginia. See S. 597.

$. 1724 : To provide for bilingual proceedings in certain district courts.

S. 1839: To amend the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Act of 1948.

S. 1876: Federal Court Jurisdiction Act. To provide for the division of jurisdiction between Federal and State Courts.

S. 1905: To provide for the appointment of U.S. Marshals by the Attorney General.

S. 2014: To provide benefits for survivors of Federal judges.

S. 2056: To authorize private suits when unsolicited obscene material is sent through the mailş. S. 2057: To provide in civil cases for juries of six persons. S. 2349: To provide cost-of-living adjustments in retirement pay

of certain Federal judges.

S. 2427: To provide for civil suits against the United States on tort claims arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter.

S. 2455: To amend title 28, United States Code, to change the age and service requirements with respect to the retirement of justices and judges of the United States.

S. 2558 : To amend title 28 of the United States Code, to provide for an exclusive remedy against the United States in suits based upon acts or omission of United States employees, and for other purposes.

S. 2565 : To revise and reform title 11 of the United States Code. (Revision of Bankruptcy Act).

S. 2570: To amend title 28, United States Code (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure), to establish a Labor Court, and for other purposes.

S. 2612: To amend title 28, United States Code, to make the United States liable for damages caused as the result of ultrahazardous activities in which the United States is engaged.

S. 2635: To amend section 110 of title 28, United States Code, to provide a place for the holding of Federal District Court in Hackensack, New Jersey.

COOPERATION OF BENCH, BAR AND LAW SCHOOLS In meeting its responsibilities, the subcommittee and its staff have maintained liaison with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the Federal Judicial Center, various members of the Federal judiciary, the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, the American Law Institute, the Institute for Judicial Administration, the National Center for State Courts, various faculty members at many law schools, court administrators in the several states, and many individual members of the bar. The information, opinions, advice and constructive criticism received from these sources have contributed much to the work of the subcommittee.

CONCLUSION

It is the responsibility of a government to provide a system of justice which will insure that individual and collective liberty are promoted by the laws of the State. The legislative branch of Government must provide the best system possible; the judicial branch of Government must provide the best justice possible to the litigants. Both of these objects require eternal vigilance and continuous effort. Eventual success in overcoming current problems can be achieved only through the cooperative efforts of our citizenry, the legal profession and our Government-Federal, State and local.

The subcommittee recognizes that the huge increase in the amount of judicial business brought to all three tiers of the Federal court system in the past ten years has taxed the capacity of those courts to dispense prompt justice in individual cases. Currently these courts are undergoing changes in internal operating procedures. There is also need for certain structural change, as well as need for increased judicial and supporting personnel. For its part this subcommittee is committed to an effective performance of its oversight responsibilities by considering the need for improvements in the judicial system starting with the District Courts and progressing, logically, to the Circuit Courts, and, eventually, to a consideration of the varied proposals relating to the Supreme Court. A judicial system, as any other sound structure, must be erected from the ground up.

« PreviousContinue »