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Untitled Document
For Immediate Release Public Information Office:
January 9, 2003 U.S. Supreme Court
Phone:  (202) 479-3211

Statement of William H. Rehnquist,
Chief Justice of the United States
January 9, 2003

On January 7, 2003, the National Commission on the Public Service, chaired by Paul Volcker, issued its report, "Urgent Business for America - Revitalizing the Federal Government for the 21st Century." As Chairman Volcker describes in his preface to the report, the Commission has issued a call "for sweeping changes in organizational structure and personnel incentives and practices" in order to increase the effectiveness of and public trust in the federal government in the 21st century.

Among its recommendations are four interim steps that the Commission recommends the President and Congress "move quickly on." The third interim step recommended is that "Congress should grant an immediate and significant increase in judicial, executive and legislative salaries" and that "[i]ts first priority in doing so should be an immediate and substantial increase in judicial salaries." I fully support this recommendation, which follows on the President's December 31, 2002, statement urging Congress to authorize a pay increase for federal judges.

In my 2002 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, issued on January 1, 2003, I identified the need to increase judicial pay as the most pressing issue facing the Judiciary and urged Congress and the President to take up this issue early in the new year. The findings and recommendations of the Volcker Commission with regard to judicial pay underscore the severity of the problem and the need for swift action to raise the pay of federal judges. I hope that Congress and the President heed the Commission's call.


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