by Nicole Flatow
Citing a new report by an American Bar Association task force, “Crisis in the Courts: Defining the Problem,” the editorial notes that the recession has led to layoffs of judges, law clerks and other court staff at a time when the courts have been “flooded with thousands of new foreclosures, credit card cases and other lawsuits driven by economic hardship.”
“The report rightly says that ‘even the most eloquent constitution is worthless with no one to enforce it,’” the editorial states.
Earlier this month, The Huffington Post published an lengthy article on how cuts to state courts, cuts to legal services and unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominees are all severely limiting individuals’ access to justice.
“[M]any court advocates bristle that the third branch of government is being treated as nothing more than a state agency begging for scraps,” the article noted, adding that budget cuts have not only caused layoffs, but also reduced operating hours, increased fees, and cases delayed for as long as ten years.
"What's happening now is that the United States justice system as we all remember it is being dismantled and butchered down," former New Hampshire Supreme Court chief justice John Broderick told The Huffington Post. "At some point, I guarantee you, you'll wake up and say, 'What happened?'"