By AZ Law
Arizona Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema are proposing five new federal judgeships for Arizona, citing our “expanding population” and a “judicial emergency”. If their new bill became law, the state would jump from 12 District Court judges – plus one temporary judgeship – to 17 permanent spots on the bench; that would be a 42% increase.
The Senators cite last year’s recommendations of the Judicial Conference of the United States that four judgeships be added to Arizona. The Senators ignore the rest of the Judicial Conference’s recommendations for new judgeships elsewhere, including five new appellate judgeships for the Ninth Circuit and 68 other permanent District Court judgeships around the country.
Arizona’s caseload, as reported in the Conference’s recommendations, do constitute what they define as a “judicial emergency”. However, seven District Courts have more “weighted filings” per existing judgeship, and New Jersey, Delaware and Indiana’s Southern District have a significantly larger caseload.