Civil and criminal filings in the federal district courts are substantially higher than they were 20 years ago — rising 28 percent since FY 1993.
But the number of federal judges provided by Congress to handle these filings has barely changed, growing by only 4 percent in the same two-decade period.
As a consequence, the time required for handling both civil and criminal cases has increased.
Since the growth in incoming federal matters varies greatly in different parts of the country, the resulting workloads for the judges also vary widely. In some districts, for example, the per-judge workload is now four times heavier than the average for the nation.
These findings by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University are based on an extensive study of information drawn from two major sources. One is the complex statistical information developed over the years by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The second is TRAC’s first-ever systematic analysis of hundreds of thousands of case-by-case court and administrative records from every federal judicial district in the nation.