MBA President Kenney Urges Officials to Restore Funding to Federal Courts

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019
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MBA President Christopher A. Kenney

Due to growing concerns about funding for federal courts during the partial government shutdown, Massachusetts Bar Association President Christopher A. Kenney released the following statement on Friday, Jan. 18. Portions of the statement were included online in a Boston Globe story.

As the partial federal government shutdown looks to stretch into an unprecedented fifth week, we at the Massachusetts Bar Association are deeply alarmed about its impact on our federal court system. We implore our elected officials to act quickly to restore funding to essential government functions, including the federal judiciary, to avoid further disruptions.

While it's incredibly frustrating for us as attorneys to navigate the unknowns and disruptions caused by the partial shutdown, we are aware that it is markedly worse for the dedicated federal employees who keep the courts running. We are grateful to the men and women who are coming to work despite the now very real prospect of furloughs or working without pay and, for their sake, hope for a speedy solution to this impasse.

Already, federal courts around the country have had to cut back or delay certain civil services, and many Immigration Courts have been closed. Without an infusion of new funding before Jan. 25, many people who rely on the courts at some of their most difficult times will have their right to be heard postponed, if not irreparably harmed.

Access to justice is at the very essence of our constitutional system of government, and it should never be delayed or denied. Funding should be restored immediately to allow the important work of our federal courts to continue unimpeded.