[JURIST] Emergency legislation allowing federal courts in New Orleans to relocate operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] was signed by President Bush Thursday. Faced with a halt in judicial work [JURIST report] at courthouses in the devastated city, the House and Senate hurriedly approved HR 3650 [bill summary], which amends geographic restrictions [Speedy Trial Act of 1974 text] on where federal courts can conduct business, allowing them to operate outside their district boundaries in emergencies. Judges and employees from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [official website] are expected to relocate to Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Houma. Bankruptcy court personnel are expected to relocate to Baton Rouge, where they will share space with the bankruptcy court there. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website], which covers Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, is already operating [JURIST report] from offices in Houston. Filing deadlines for all the courts have been extended, with specific information available on the court websites. The Administrative Office of the US Courts [official website] has more.