Judicial Conference of the United States

Judicial Conference of the United States

Principal administrative policy making mechanism for the federal judicial system. The Judicial Conference of the United States meets at least twice a year and is composed of the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (Judicial Organization), the chief judges of the twelve judicial circuits, and a district judge from each of the circuits. The key function of the conference is the fashioning of rules to govern federal criminal and civil procedure. The conference also discusses such issues as operating budgets, judicial transfers, caseload issues, and other matters of importance to the functioning of the federal Judiciary (Judicial Organization). Most of the work of the conference is conducted through an extensive committee structure. Each committee focuses on a specific topic and offers reports and recommendations to the full conference. The conference also possesses supervisory authority over the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

See Also

administrative office of the UNITED STATES COURTS, 40; Circuit Judicial Council (Judicial Organization).

Analysis and Relevance

The Judicial Conference of the United States allows federal judges to participate in both the development of policy for the federal courts as well as their administration. The number of judges involved in the process is increased substantially through the committee structure. Involvement by so many federal judges enhances the legitimacy of the conference and its activities. At the same time, the participation of large numbers of judges tends to reinforce local influences and keeps the conference from becoming the unifying or centralizing authority many feel is needed to more effectively administer the federal judicial system. Further, notwithstanding the breadth of judicial representation in the conference, it lacks authority to compel compliance with its own policy decisions.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Judicial Conference of the United States from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

The Judicial Conference of the United States and the Federal Courts

In the words of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts: The Judicial Conference of the United States is the federal courts' national policy-making body. The Chief Justice of the United States presides over the Judicial Conference, which consists of 26 other members including the chief judge of each court of appeals, one district court judge from each regional circuit, and the chief judge of the Court of International Trade. The Judicial Conference works through committees established along subject matter lines to recommend national policies and legislation on all aspects of federal judicial administration. Committees include budget, rules of practice and procedure, court administration and case management, criminal law, bankruptcy, judicial resources (judgeships and personnel matters), information technology, and codes of conduct.

Judicial Conference of the United States: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Judicial Conference of the United States. This part provides references, in relation to Judicial Conference of the United States, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Judicial Conference of the United States by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Judicial Conference of the United States and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Judicial Conference of the United States or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Judicial Conference of the United States and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Judicial Conference of the United States. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Judicial Conference of the United States should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Judicial Conference of the United States when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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