May 28, 2010

President Obama Signs Whitehouse Bill to Improve Judicial Administration

Washington, D.C. – President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that will improve the administration of the federal courts.

The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 1782), was cosponsored in the Senate by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and by the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Efforts for passage in the House of Representatives were led by Chairmen John Conyers (D-MI) and Hank Johnson (D-GA), joined by Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Howard Coble (R-NC). Each provision of the bill has been endorsed by the Judicial Conference of the United States.

“Ensuring the efficient administration of the federal courts is a key responsibility of the Judiciary Committee,” said Whitehouse, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. “The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2010 serves that important purpose.”

The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act will help the federal courts operate more effectively through six improvements to existing law. It clarifies the role of senior judges in court governance; revises the statutory definition of the District of North Dakota to enable better workload distribution and litigant convenience; changes the treatment of the “statement of reasons” issued by a sentencing judge in order to protect privacy; clarifies the authority of pretrial service officers over juvenile offenders; amends requirements for the reporting of wiretap information to the Administrative Office of the Courts; and provides an inflation adjustment for the case expenses that must be reviewed by the chief judge of a district court.

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