Federal civil jury trials may be significantly delayed due to Congress failing to reach a budget deal with $600 billion in automatic spending cuts kicking in next year. The federal judiciary’s share of the cuts would be more than $500 million. One federal judge is speaking up. Chief Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said “Civil jury trials would probably have to be suspended due to a lack of funding,” following a meeting at the Supreme Court of the Judicial Conference, the judiciary’s policy-making arm led by Chief Justice John Roberts.
The probation system, border courts, courthouse security, and payment for defense lawyers could be affected.