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Growth in State Judgeships, 1970-1984 -- What Factors are Important?

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1985
11 pages
The growth since 1970 of State judgeships in appellate courts and general jurisdiction trial courts has been affected as much by population, State wealth, and intermediate court structure as by caseload increases.
Trial and appellate court judgeships have increased steadily since 1970, but at a much slower pace than caseload growth and at different rates across the country. The growth in the number of trial judgeships tends to follow increases in civil filings, population, and the overall wealth of a State. Criminal caseloads, the crime rate, and civil trial court dollar jurisdiction limits have no discernable impact on the number of judgeships. The growth of appellate judgeships is affected by the volume of appeals, population growth, and the State's intermediate court structure. Even when controlling for caseload growth, States have considerably more appellate judgeships after creating intermediate courts or expanding their jurisdictions. This relationship results mainly from the small number of judgeships before the supreme court receives jurisdictional relief. Data tables, including one showing judgeships in each State, are supplied. Footnotes are also included. (Author summary modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1985