[JURIST] The Judicial Conference of the United States [US Courts backgrounder] decided Tuesday that it will ask Congress for 67 new judge positions [recommendations; press release], including 15 new circuit court positions and 52 new district court judgeships, throughout the country in order to help ease the crowded court system. No new circuit court judges have been added to the bench since 1990 despite a 55 percent increase in the filings of appeals. The district courts have seen a 29 percent increase since 1990, but have only been granted an additional 29 judges during that time period to help deal with the load. The Conference also voted to approve a test-run on making audio recordings of court sessions available online.
The last time the Conference met in September, the policy-making body approved measures [JURIST report] requiring judges to disclose their sponsors when traveling to attend seminars, and to investigate financial conflicts of interest more closely. As the policy-arm of the judiciary, the Judicial Conference conducts research on the federal court system and reports its findings with suggestions to Congress. AP has more.