WASHINGTON — While Congress and President Obama fight over taxes and spending, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the third branch of government was doing its part by holding down spending for the federal courts.
Roberts said the U.S. Supreme Court would will ask for $75 million next year, a 3.7% decrease from the spending level of three years ago.
Nationwide, the federal courts spent about $6.9 billion in the last fiscal year, a "minuscule portion of the federal budget," Roberts wrote in his year-end report on the judiciary. "For each citizen's tax dollar, only two-tenths of one penny go toward funding the entire third branch of government."
In the past, the chief justice has used his annual message to call for salary increases for federal judges. In 2007, he warned of a possible "constitutional crisis" if judges, facing a salary freeze, decided to step down in favor of law firm jobs that pay far more than the salary of a U.S. district judge, currently $174,000.