On Friday, the Trump administration released its budget request for fiscal year 2018.
In addition to the spending cuts announced last week, the budget proposes a drastic reduction in the number of judges who are appointed by the Senate and a drastic increase in the size of the judiciary.
The Senate and House Judiciary Committees have previously proposed and passed their own budgets in which they would shrink the number and size of judges, but the Senate’s proposal would also dramatically cut the number, leaving only one in 10 judicial vacancies.
President Donald Trump’s budget proposes to reduce the number in 10 federal judges to 1,077.
During a recent press conference, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said the Trump budget was “one of the biggest threats to the rule of law in American history.”
As Grassley noted, the Senate proposed a $300 million budget for the Judicial Conference of the United States in 2020, and the House proposal would cut $300,000 from the total funding for the Conference.
Although both bills have been subject to scrutiny in recent years due to concerns about the budget’s impact on the judiciary, Grassley noted that the budget proposal would “strip our ability to make sure that the judicial system remains in good repair.”
In his budget proposal, Grassley also proposes eliminating the Supreme Court’s independence, eliminating the Office of the Chief Justice, eliminating an office of public information, and reducing the number to one member, and removing the Judicial Branch from the Federal Election Commission.
In addition to Grassley’s proposal, the administration also proposed cutting the number by more than $5 billion from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The White House also proposed to cut the FBI’s budget by $1.2 billion, but this proposal was immediately rejected by Democrats in the Senate.
On Wednesday, Grassley and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Grassley Jr. (R) also introduced legislation in the House to create a Judicial Branch Commission.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed its version of the bill last week.
“In order to preserve the integrity of the courts, we must ensure the independence of the judges,” Grassley said in a statement.
“This bipartisan effort would provide the Judicial branch with the resources it needs to protect and uphold our democracy.
As the president has indicated, this effort is the most comprehensive proposal to date to restore judicial independence to the judiciary and ensure it remains a powerful tool for justice.”
During his press conference last week on the judicial nomination process, Grassley highlighted the fact that “the president has repeatedly stated that he will nominate the best and brightest to serve on the court.”
“As we have heard over and over again, he is confident that judges will be ‘the best lawyers and judges you’ve ever seen,'” he said.
“As this president, I will appoint the judges that he believes are the best fit for the court.
And I will be guided by their experience, their temperament, their understanding of our laws, and their devotion to the Constitution.”
Trump also promised during his election campaign that he would appoint “the most honest and the best” judges to the bench.