In a time of strained resources and judicial shortages, Chief Judge William B. Traxler, Jr. of the Fourth Circuit has agreed to take on extra duties as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, effective today. He succeeds Judge David B. Sentelle of the D.C. Circuit, who took senior status yesterday.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts made the announcement today and stated:
"Judge Traxler assumes this important administrative role at a time when the federal judiciary faces significant financial challenges. I know the Executive Committee and the Judicial Conference will benefit from Bill Traxler's skilled leadership, commitment to cost containment and prudent management. I am pleased that Bill has agreed to take on this new responsibility in addition to the many demands he already faces as chief judge of his circuit. I look forward to working closely with him."
For all you young pups and law students out there, you might be wondering what the Judicial Conference of the United States actually is. We are at your service.
The Judicial Conference was created by Congress in 1922 and serves as the principal policy making body concerned with the administration of the U.S. Courts. Per 28 U.S.C. § 331, the Judicial Conference is tasked with:
- Surveying the condition of business in the courts of the United States;
- Preparing plans for the assignment of judges to or from courts of appeals or district courts, where necessary;
- Submitting suggestions to the various courts in the interest of promoting uniformity of management procedures and the expeditious conduct of court business;
- Exercising authority provided in chapter 16 of title 28 United States Codes for the review of circuit council conduct and disability orders; and
- Carrying on a continuous study of the operation and effect of the general rules of practice and procedure in use within the federal courts, as prescribed by the Supreme Court.
The Executive Committee serves as the senior executive arm of the Conference and is empowered to act its behalf between its biannual sessions. The Committee consists of Chief Judges Joel F. Dubina of the 11th Cir., William Jay Riley of the 8th Cir., Mary Beck Briscoe of the 10th Cir., as well as District Court Judges Sarah S. Vance, Robert S. Lasnik and Rodney W. Sippel.
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