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SENATE

715T CONGRESS

ed Session

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REPORT No, 847

TO AUTHORIZE THE APPOINTMENT OF TWO ADDITIONAL

JUSTICES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

May 29 (calendar day, JUNE 6), 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. WATERMAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted

the following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 3939)

The Committee on the Judiciary, having considered the bill (S. 3939) to authorize the appointment of two additional justices of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, reports the same favorably with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

The Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia was created by act of Congress approved February 9, 1893, which act provided for three justices. The number of justices of this court has never been increased, although the population of the District of Columbia has more than doubled during the period of 37 years since the creation of the court. Moreover, Congress has from time to time extended the jurisdiction of the court of appeals, thus increasing the volume of the court's business. This court possesses the usual jurisdiction of State appellate courts in litigation arising in the District of Columbia; the jurisdiction of Federal circuit courts of appeal in Federal matters; and the peculiar jurisdiction resulting from special acts of Congress, such as jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Federal Radio Commission and from the Board of Tax Appeals, and jurisdiction to review, by writ of error, the decisions of the police court, the municipal court, and the juvenile court. The mere fact that this court is located in the National Capital also adds to its volume of business, as a very large part of the litigation involving Federal officials or Federal bodies is begun in the courts of the District of Columbia.

Hearings were held by the subcommittee on May 23, 1930; and on April 18, 1930, the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives held hearings on a companion bill, H. R. 2904. These hearings disclose a serious need for relief from the congested condition in the court of appeals. In the fiscal year 1920, the court disposed of 207 cases, leaving 139 cases pending; while in 1928, the court disposed of 336 cases, leaving 256 cases pending.

For some years, the court of appeals received a considerable amount of assistance from judges of the Court of Customs Appeals (now the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals). For example, in 1923, judges of the Court of Customs Appeals delivered 73 opinions for the court of appeals out of a total of 210 opinions. However, since Congress gave jurisdiction of patent appeals to the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, the judges of that court have been unable to render assistance to the court of appeals to any considerable extent; in fact, they have not written any opinions for the court of appeals since 1928, and there is no prospect of further assistance from this court.

The report of the Attorney General for the fiscal year 1929, at page 89, discloses that but three circuit courts of appeals (second, eighth, and ninth) disposed of more cases during that year than were disposed of by the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, and that in each of those courts there were more judges than in the court of appeals. This bill to increase the number of justices of the court of appeals from three to five has the approval of the Attorney General.

The bill is also recommended by the President's commission of law observance and enforcement, and is one of a series of bills reported by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives responding to the recommendation of this commission.

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SENATE

718T CONGRESS

ad Session

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REPORT No. 848

TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF TWO ADDITIONAL DIS TRICT JUDGES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

May 29 (calendar day, JUNE 6), 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. STEIWER, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 3614)

The Committee on the Judiciary having considered the bill, S. 3614, reports the same favorably with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

The northern district of Illinois includes the city of Chicago and embraces an area with a population of approximately 5,000,000 people. Under existing law there are three district judges in this district. This number has proved to be absolutely inadequate The result has been a most serious congestion in the Federal courts. The congestion in this district is believed by the committee to present one of the most serious situations that may be found in connection with the whole Federal judicial system. To give the Senate some idea of this congestion the committee recites the following facts: Upon March 1, 1930, the number of cases, by classes, pending in this district were as follows: Criminal cases, 1,200; equity cases where injunction is sought for violation, 156; civil and equity and admiralty suits pending, 1,833; proceedings in bankruptcy, 3,614.

The report of the Attorney General for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1929, discloses that at the beginning of the year the total number of criminal cases pending was 886; commenced during the fiscal year of 1929, 2,295; terminated during the same period, 2,283. Of the cases terminated, 1,803 were disposed of upon pleas of guilty. Trials by jury were held on 49 cases. Cases pending at the close of the fiscal year, viz, June 30, 1929, were 898; United States civil cases commenced during the fiscal year were 954 and terminated during the same period, 1,161; judgments were secured for the United States in 1,000 cases. If there were no private litigation in this district the business of the United States, civil and criminal, would occupy the entire time of the three judges now provided for under existing law. It is obvious that it is impossible to try criminal cases. This has resulted in a situation in which the Government is forced to hold out inducements of leniency in order to secure pleas of guilty. It is needless to add that the enforcement of the law suffers seriously by reason of this condition. The evidence taken by the subcommittee discloses that at least the entire time of one judge is taken up in hearing pleas and arraignments and in hearing the trial of cases where the defendants are in jail in order that accused persons may not be held in jail an unreasonable length of time awaiting trial. Outside judges have been called in very frequently, but this mode of assistance is only temporary and has not relieved the courts of the congestion The number of cases undisposed of is greater now than a year ago.

During the last fiscal year there was collected in sines and forfeitures in this district the sum of $344,567.21. The supplying of additional judges would greatly increase this kind of income. Of course the Federal courts are not conducted for the purpose of earning an income, but this circumstance may be properly considered as bearing upon the probable result of creating the two additional judgeships. It seems likely that an enlarged court will so expedite the business of the Government that the expense will be paid by the increase in penalties and fines imposed.

SENATE

71st CONGRESS

ed Session

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REPORT No. 851

PURCHASE OF LAND ADJOINING FORT BLISS, TEX.

May 29 (calendar day, JUNE 6), 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. SHEPPARD, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted

the following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 4593)

The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 4593) to authorize an appropriation for the purchase of land adjoining Fort Bliss, Tex., having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass.

The purpose of this bill is to authorize an appropriation for acquisition of land essential for the development of Fort Bliss, Tex. The proposal meets the approval of the War Department, and a letter from the Acting Secretary of War to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs regarding the matter is made a part of this report and reads as follows:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, June 4, 1930. Hon. DAVID A. REED, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,

United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR REED: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (S. 4593) to authorize an appropriation for the purchase of land adjoining Fort Bliss, Tex., transmitted under date of June 2, 1930, with request for report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.

There are no provisions of existing law authorizing the purchase of this land. As you know, the act of Congress approved February 24, 1925 (Public 448; 68th Cong.), entitled “ An act for the purchase of land adjoining Fort Bliss, Tex., authorized an appropriation of not to exceed $366,000 for the purchase of land in the vicinity of and for use in connection with the Fort Bliss military reservation. This sum of money was appropriated in the second deficiency act, fiscal year 1925 (Public 631, 68th Cong.).

Believing that the price asked for the land in question was too high, the War Department purchased other lands at a price of $91,000, including incidental expenses. One tract, lying about 142 miles northeast of the post, is used by the Air Corps, while the other tract, lying 372 miles north of the post, is used for small arms and artillery target practice and is available at other times for field training. The unexpended balance of the $366,000, amounting to $275,000, reverted to the Treasury as savings.

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