The frustration over the government shutdown is making its way to the judicial branch. A Federal Judge is putting it like this, telling Congress they can “go to hell.”
Senior Judge Richard Kopf, took to his blog and urged his colleagues to keep the courts open saying all federal district court employees are essential.
Kopf suggests that if the Chief Judge and all the district judges, issued an order stating that all employees working for the district court are essential, “the Clerk of Court, the Federal Public Defender, and all the other Unit Executives, would be protected from prosecution under the Anit-Deficiency Act. Furthermore, there is a strong argument for such a declaration. Best of all, such an order would set up an inter-branch dispute worth having.”
Judge Kopf paints two scenarios if the order was issued.
First, Congress does nothing and lose their ability to “destroy” the judiciary by failing to pass a budget, or Congress could go “bat****” and both branches could go at it when it comes to the effect of the government shutdown.
The judge assures that there is support for a potential confrontation between Congress and the judiciary, with one prominent Senator agreeing that such decision would go unchallenged since it is justified under the circumstances.
Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts, said the shutdown “has made it challenging to learn more about how exactly the shutdown will harm the courts.”
Coons said, he would not challenge a decision by district courts who decide that all remaining employees are essential and need to get back to work.
The Senator from Delaware also said the federal courts have been under “significant stress” due to previous budget reductions.
And so the government shutdown 2013 is coming the a court near you and one Judge knows exactly what he will say.