Federal judge shortage leads to New Jersey case backlog

Mike Dougherty
May 30, 2020 - 1:41 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey has a backlog of nearly 40,000 federal court cases and counting, because there aren't enough judges to hear the arguments.

The state has one district court, which handles a lot of complicated cases. The growing federal backlog is already larger than Pennsylvania, which has three district courts and New York, which has four.

"What happened is that six of 17 judgeships in New Jersey are vacant," explained John Froonjin, director of the Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. He said the Trump administration has nominated judges to fill those vacancies but Senators Booker and Menendez have not confirmed them.

"This was brought out at a Hughes Center speaker event in January when former White House counsel Don McGahn said they nominated judges but they hadn't been signed off," added Froonjin. "We tried to contact the senators to ask their side but didn’t get a reply."

KYW Newsradio was also unable to get a reply.

Froonjin said it is important to note that the report does not assign blame, as there could be very good reasons why those nominees were not confirmed.