In his first official communication as ABA president, James R. Silkenat asked the entire ABA membership to contact their individual members of Congress immediately to urge them to restore funding to the federal judiciary and provide support for fiscal year 2014 that assures access to justice.
Silkenat’s message: “Regardless of the outcome of ongoing fiscal year negotiations or the vehicle used to fund the government in October, Congress needs to provide the federal judiciary with a sufficient and certain FY 2014 appropriation. Our federal courts must be able to plan for and execute their essential constitutional and statutory functions in a fair, efficient, and timely manner. To accomplish this, we urge Congress to increase the federal judiciary’s FY 2014 appropriation to the Senate Appropriation Committee recommended funding level of $6.67 billion.”
“Nothing is more persuasive than letting your member of Congress know how sequestration has adversely impacted his or her constituents,” Silkenat said. “Lawyers, in particular, have the knowledge and responsibility to explain why a fully operational federal judiciary is a core component of our government and essential to the preservation of our personal liberties and constitutional government based on the rule of law,” he emphasized.