O'Connor joins Burger in plea for new court
February 8, 1983
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NEW ORLEANS (UPI) -Arguing the quality of American justice is at stake, Chief Justice Warren Burger is asking Congress to create a new federal court to decide some of the Supreme Court's cases . Burger said the flow of cases is so overwhelming that the court is threatened with a "breakdown of the system - or of some of the justices" and "patchwork remedies" cannot solve the problem. " It is the most important single, immediate problem facing the judicial branch, " he declared. Denying he was "crying wolf," the nation's top jurist recommended setting up a temporary panel of judges to settle conflicting rulings among the circuit courts of appeal, and perhaps disputes over federal statutes . Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, like Burger addressing tl-ie American Bar Association's annual. mid-winter meeting Sunday, made a similar proposal for a new court. "There is no one single, permanent solution," Mrs O'Connor said. "Ea ch time the court's caseload increases , congressional action is necessary to make some significant change in th~ court' s jurisdiction or_ its procedures to reduce the numbers . It's been 58 years smce the last maj or changes .'' Burger's proposal, made in his annual State of the Judiciary address, was the first time he has endorsed such a major change to reduce th€' court :,, case burdl'n - a topic that eight of the nme justice><; have spoken about publicly smce lac;tsummer Proposals tor a ne \ , judicial layer between the appeals courts and the-Supreme Court have.