34 Third Branch 1 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/thirdbran34 and id is 1 raw text is: THE
HIRD
BRANCH

Newsletter
of the
Federal
Courts
Vol. 34
Number I
January 2002

,n.rlal IssRH

2001 YEAR-END REPORT ON THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY

Overview
The 2001 Year-End Re-
port on the Federal Judi-
ciary is my 161h. 2001 will
surely be remembered by
the entire country, includ-
ing the federal Judiciary,
for the terrorist attacks of
September 11 and the an-
thrax contamination that
followed.
I received word of the
first strike on the World
Trade Center as the 26
federal judges who are
members of the Judicial
Conference of the United
States were preparing to
convene at the Supreme
Court the morning of Sep-
tember 11. It soon became
clear that we would have
to cancel the Conference
session and evacuate the  Chief ustic
building, the first cancel-
lation of a Conference meeting since
its creation in 1922.
Just six and a half weeks later, our
Court was forced to evacuate the
building again after traces of anthrax
were found in our off-site mail facil-
ity. For the first time since our build-
ing opened in 1935, the Court heard
arguments in another location-the
ceremonial courtroom in the District

e William H. Rehnquist
of Columbia E. Barrett Prettyman
Federal Courthouse. The Court was
also forced out of its quarters in the
Capitol when the British burned part
of the Capitol building in August
1814.
Despite the effects of events since
September 11, the federal courts,
along with the rest of our govern-
ment, have gotten back to business,

even if not business as usua' Our
Court has kept its argument sched-
ule, federal (and state) courts have
met, albeit with heightened secu-
rity, and within three weeks, the
Judicial Conference completed by
mail all of the business that had
been on the schedule for Septem-
ber 11 and that could not be post-
poned.
Ensuring a Well-Qualified
and Fully Staffed Judicial
Branch
The federal courts were created
by the Judiciary Act of 1789, which
established a Supreme Court and
divided the country into three cir-
cuits and 13 districts. This struc-
ture has obviously changed greatly
since 1789, but one thing has not
changed: the federal courts have
functioned through wars, natural
disasters, and terrorist attacks.
During times such as these, the
role of the courts becomes even
more important in order to enforce
the rule of law. To continue func-
tioning effectively and efficiently,
however, the courts must be ap-
propriately staffed. This means
that necessary judgeships must be

T

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