Demand Justice Praises Johnson Lower Court Expansion Bill


July 30, 2021

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WASHINGTON, DC— Following news that Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Chair Hank Johnson will introduce The District Court Judgeships Act of 2021 to create 203 new district court judgeships, Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang said:

“For decades, Congress has failed to provide our district courts with enough judges to keep up with our growing country, and this bill takes the kind of bold action needed to finally address the growing workload crisis in our courts. This proposal recognizes the urgency of creating these judgeships right away, rather than years from now, and it would add enough seats to truly meet the need. By returning to the Judicial Conference’s historic benchmark for a judge’s workload, Chairman Johnson is showing Democrats how to make courts the priority they need to be to ensure the fair administration of justice. Leadership in both chambers must make this bill a priority.”

Johnson’s District Court Judgeships Act of 2021 would immediately create 203 district court judgeships across 47 judicial districts to address the skyrocketing caseloads since the last time Congress added any district court judgeships, in 2003. This legislation would ensure that no district has more than 400 weighted cases per judgeship, the historic standard used by the Judicial Conference and Congress during previous comprehensive lower court expansions. 

In February, Demand Justice organized a letter signed by 46 progressive organizations calling on Congress to expand the lower courts and emphasizing the need to go beyond the latest recommendations made by the Judicial Conference. In June 2020, Demand Justice co-founders Brian Fallon and Christopher Kang wrote an op-ed arguing for a dramatic expansion of both the circuit and district courts in The American Prospect