FEDERAL JUDICIARY STILL HANGS ON, DESPITE BUDGET IMPASSE

 

[Posted October 15, 2013] As I mentioned here recently, the federal government’s shutdown has not extended to the federal courts, which are operating as usual – for now. A press release on the US Courts website mentions that the courts will remain open through this Thursday, October 17, and possibly into Friday, based on belt-tightening necessitated by the budget impasse in Congress. My previous advice still holds true: If you have any impending federal appellate deadlines, you should plan on meeting them, as the courts are still open.

 

Of course, if Congress doesn’t get its act together by Thursday, and the government defaults on its financial obligations, we’ll have a set of problems of a very different nature. You’ve heard the dire warnings and the political posturing elsewhere, so I won’t belabor the point. But from our standpoint, litigants will soon share the pain that others (furloughed workers, for example) have been suffering while our duly elected representatives engage in grandstanding, seeing who can make political gains by playing chicken with the America economy.
 
Update, October 16 — The US Courts website reports this afternoon that the judiciary will stay open through the end of the week, October 18. Given the rumblings that I’m hearing out of Washington this afternoon, there may be a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, so the courts may be open next week, too; we may hope. For now, appelate deadlines in federal courts remain unaffected by the government shutdown.
 
Further update, October 17 — (Whew!)