If, as the rumor mill and the Bureau of Governmental Research suggest, the committee examining the number of judgeships in Louisiana is going to hire the National Center for State Courts to do a long, thorough study of the issue, then the question is: why didn’t it hire the NCSC to do this years ago? The NCSC is a respected, neutral authority in today’s court reform landscape… just like it was years ago, when the study committee began its work. If the NCSC had been brought in then and had recommended reducing the number of judgeships, the state could have acted on that before judges across Louisiana get elected to six-year terms this fall. Millions of dollars are at stake here. Kudos to BGR for aggressively pursuing this crucial issue, which CWN was among the first to raise in its 2012 Report.
N.B. It’s official – Three years is apparently not enough time to study a simple question: given that New Orleans has the same number of judges today as it did in the late 1990s, when the city boasted a much larger population, should we reduce the number of judgeships in order to save taxpayer dollars? You can read the full report here.