Friday, May 20, 2011
Bingaman, Udall Sponsor Bill to Increase NM's District Court Judgeships
Yesterday, Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced legislation to increase the number of District Court judgeships in New Mexico to help the state deal with its heavy caseload. The bill is cosponsored by Senator Tom Udall, and would authorize new District Court judgeships for the southwest border states based on recommendations made by the Judicial Conference of the Federal Courts, which makes policy decisions for the U.S. courts.
Under the bill, New Mexico would receive an additional permanent judgeship, allow for the conversion of an existing temporary judgeship to permanent and add a temporary judgeship. There are currently seven authorized judgeships for the district of New Mexico.
“Over the last five years, we have significantly increased the number of Border Patrol agents, hired additional prosecutors and enhanced the presence of DEA, FBI and U.S. Marshal Agents throughout the border region. While this has greatly improved security in the border region, it has also put enormous pressure on the federal courts in handling the influx of cases,” Bingaman said.
“It is critical that the federal judiciary has the resources and manpower it needs to dispose of cases in a timely manner and this bill would help District Courts in the southwest border states deal with this burden,” Bingaman concluded.
“Additional resources for border patrol enforcement in New Mexico have increasingly meant higher case loads for our federal courts. This legislation would help ease that pressure by providing the manpower necessary to adjudicate cases in a timely manner that ensures justice for all involved,” Udall said.
The breakdown for the three other south border states would be as follows:
New Permanent Judgeship (P), New Temporary Judgeship (T), Conversion of Existing Temporary Judgeship to Permanent (T/P)
(4P, 1T, T/P)
Northern (4P, 1T)
Eastern (6P, 1T)
Central (8P, 1T, T/P)
Southern (2P, 1T)
Eastern (1P, T/P)
Western (4P, 1T)