32 Third Branch 1 (2000)

handle is hein.journals/thirdbran32 and id is 1 raw text is: TrHF
THIRD
BRANCH

Newsletter
of the
Federal
Courts    k 4
Vol. 32
Ntmber I
January 2000  Special Issue

The 1009 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

The 1999 Year-End Report on
the Federal Judiciary-my 14th as
Chief Justice-provides an oppor-
tunity to review the state of the
Judiciary not only for the past year,
but also to reflect briefly on its status
this past century, which, I hasten to
point out, has another year to run.
Just ask the makers of 2001: A Space
Odyssey. Our society
experienced enormous
technological and industrial
advances in the 20th century.
We entered the century
traveling in horse and
buggy, on steamboat, or by
rail, and we leave it thinking
of man's landing on the
moon as old news, to use
but one example. Changes
in the federal Judiciary in
the 201h century may appear
less extreme by comparison,
but are nonetheless remark-
able.
One hundred years ago,
there were 108 authorized
federal judgeships in the
federal Judiciary, consisting   0
of 71 district judgeships, 28.
appellate judgeships, and 9
Supreme Court Justices.
Today, there are 852-
including 655 district

judgeships, 179 appellate judgeships
and 9 Supreme Court Justices. In
1900, 13,605 cases were filed in
federal district courts, and 1,093 in
courts of appeals. This past year,
over 320,194 cases were filed in
federal district courts, over 54,600 in
courts of appeals, and over 1,300,000
filings were made in bankruptcy
courts alone.
These changes in the federal
Judiciary reflect not merely a growth
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in th2 population of the United
States, but also have been in re-
sponse to the increasing jurisdiction
of federal courts. Some increase in
federal jurisdiction has been a
natural result of the industrial-
ization and technological develop-
ment and the corresponding re-
gulation of it in America in the
20h century; some in recent years,
however, has resulted from un-
necessary federalization of traditional
state law matters. Of course,
technological advances
have had other profound
impacts on the Judiciary.
A century that began with
some federal judges still
riding the circuits con-
cludes with judges commu-
nicating by video
conferencing, using a
Federal Judicial Television
Network, and in some
instances reviewing briefs
filed electronically.
Notwithstanding changes
and adaptations within
the federal Judiciary over
the last 100 years, perhaps
the greatest contribution
it has made to our society
and the way in which we
govern ourselves has
been its stability and rela-
tive predictability. These
see Report on page 2

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