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Soth V. 25

THE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION BILL, 1843

HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. KARL

STEFAN (CHAIRMAN), ROBERT F. JONES, WALT HORAN, IVOR D. FENTON, JOHN J. ROONEY, J. VAUGHAN GARY, AND THOMAS J. O'BRIEN, OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IN CHARGE OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF STATE, JUSTICE, COMMERCE, AND THE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION BILL, 1948, ON THE DAYS FOLLOWING:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1947. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

STATEMENTS OF HON. HUGO L. BLACK, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE

SUPREME COURT; HON. HAROLD H. BURTON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT; THOMAS E. WAGGAMAN, MARSHAL; WALTER WYATT, REPORTER; MARY RACIOPPI, SECRETARY TO THE MARSHAL; AND HELEN NEWMAN, ASSOCIATE LIBRARIAN

Mr. STEFAN. We will take up this morning the appropriation for the Judiciary. The first item is for the Supreme Court.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS

The summary of requirements will be inserted in the record at this point.

(The summary follows:)

Summary of requirements, fiscal year 1948 Appropriation, 1947 (regular bill)

$766,790 Supplemental appropriation.

15, 116 Appropriation, 1947.....

781, 906 Add: Appropriation transfer.--

-$30,000 Pending supplemental appropriation (Public Law 390)

+81, 770 Pending supplemental appropriation (Public Law 567)

+41, 249

+93,019 Base for 1948.... Net difference, 1948 over 1947:

$874, 925

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We have with us this morning Justices Black and Burton and members of their staff. For the record, will you tell us who are here with you, Mr. Justice Burton?

Mr. Justice BURTON. Mr. Thomas E. Waggaman, the marshal; Miss Helen Newman, associate librarian; Mrs. Racioppi, of the marshal's staff; Mr. Walter Wyatt, the official reporter for the Court.

Mr. STEFAN. For the information of the committee, you will find the justification for this item on page 5 of the justifications. I note that your base for 1948 is $874,925 and that you are asking an increase over all of $82,875.

GENERAL STATEMENT

Would you care to make a general statement at this time?

Mr. Justice BURTON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I should like to make a brief introductory statement and then consider the items for personnel, printing and binding, and miscellaneous expenses.

First of all I may say that the Chief Justice, a former Member of the House, wants to present his greetings to the committee and say that he is unable to be here, but has designated Mr. Justice Black and myself to represent the Court at this hearing.

This appropriation covers, as you know—but I want to emphasize it—the members of the Supreme Court and their personal staffs the Marshal of the Court, the Reporter of the Court, the library and the cleaning and maintenance of the building, which is under the direction of the Marshal.

VOLUME OF WORK

Just to give a little light on the volume of the Court's work and the manner of handling it, at the moment I want to say that the work of the Court is slightly but steadily increasing. However, the Court is completely, up with its docket.

I think these figures may be helpful. About 160 cases lie over from year to year in that, when we reach the end of the term there are about 160 cases, roughly, that are not ready for presentation to the Court at that time and therefore they go over to the next term.

Roughly, about 1,300 cases are filed every year and we dispose of about 1,300 cases. About 80 percent of them are disposed of on the preliminary statement, that is on the petitions for certiorari, or statements of jurisdiction. This is done by study of the briefs without oral argument in the Court.

With the cooperation of the Congress, the procedure of optional jurisdiction has been the salvation of the Court in keeping up with its docket and being able to reach the important cases, those cases which deserve the consideration of the Court and deserve prompt decision.

The safeguarding factor in it is that a petition for certiorari is granted by a vote of four of the nine Justices. It does not require a vote of five. Therefore the litigants have the protection that when they apply to be heard in the Supreme Court, if they can get four out of the nine Justices to vote to grant their petition for certiorari, they are then heard on the merits. We thus have a limited optional jurisdiction

.

which is controlled by a minority, which provides an ample safeguard against its abuses and a margin of safety for all parties in the case. It is rather obvious, if a party cannot get four votes on the motion to be heard then probably it would be a waste of time, of everybody's time, to hear the case. Because of this procedure, which was developed under the administration of Chief Justice Taft, the Court, each year, is up with its docket.

But that puts upon the Court the burden of examination of a great number of cases besides those that are heard orally in the public hearings of the Court. There is a heavy obligation involved in reaching a decision on each of these petitions for certiorari. For that reason the law clerks are of great importance to the Court in connection with that work as well as in connection with the cases that are fully argued on their merits.

Before proceeding to the items that are before the committee, I wish also to say that I appreciate greatly the attitude which this committee has taken traditionally toward the Supreme Court. As was stated last year, when I was here, the Supreme Court is a unique branch of the Government; it is a coordinate branch of the Government and submits its requests for appropriations not through the budget but on its own responsibility. It has made it a practice, therefore, to submit only requests that are reduced to the minimum before presentation. We have reexamined our request, in this particular instance, with a view to bringing that condition about.

SALARIES

Mr. STEFAN. .Mr. Justice Burton, we will put in the record at this point, page 6, which outlines the appropriation for salaries..

(The matter referred to follows:)

Appropriation: Salaries, Supreme Court

Appropriation, 1947 (regular bill) --
Supplemental appropriation...

$598, 590

15, 116

Appropriation, 1947---

613, 706 Add:

Pending supplemental appropriation (Public Law 390)---- $63, 139
Pending supplemental appropriation (Public Law 567)---- 41,249

-+104, 388

718, 094

Base for 1943_----
Net difference, 1948 over 1947 :
Salaries :
Requirements:

1947 adjusted -
1948__

$718, 094
766, !000

+48, 806

Total estimate of appropriation, 1948_

766, 900 Mr. STEFAN. Will you justify the increases requested, which are listed on page 5. The first is for salaries, which represents an increase of $48,806.

Mr. Justice BURTON. Referring to the appropriation item as a whole first, there is a grand total of $957,800 requested for 1948. I should like to mention to the committee that that grand total is still under a million dollars. We are still dealing in thousands of dollars and not in millions when we deal with the Supreme Court.

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NUMBER OF PERSONNEL

Our total number of employees, which is not mentioned on that particular page, is 189.

Referring directly to the salary items, it appears that the amount for salaries in the current year is $718,094. The new request is $766,900. That will be seen more readily from the committee print on

page 4.

LAW CLERKS

The first group that appears on page 4 is the law clerks, and we are requesting an increase there from 10, at a total salary of $46,512 to 15 with a total salary. of $69,266. We now have an arrangement whereby the Chief Justice has three law clerks and each Associate Justice has one law clerk.

Mr. STEFAN. Making a total of how many?

Mr. Justice BURTON. Making a total of 11. The point that I presented last year was that with this volume of petitions for certiorari, to which I referred, and with the overtime work these clerks are called upon to do, there was an obvious need for increased help. I said last year that we would not ask for it at that time but would undertake to review the situation during the current year and see what would be the best recommendation to make on it.

Some Justices work one way and some work another. Instead of requesting an additional law clerk for each of the Justices, we are requesting an additional number of four instead of eight.

Checking up—and this is set out in our justifications on the overtime record of these particular law clerks that are involved, we find that they have worked overtime about 17 hours a week, or the equivalent of two full days. Those young men work whatever hours are necessary, as do the Justices and as do their secretaries. It is an extremely burdensome experience that we go through and I am satisfied, and the Court is satisfied, that in those cases where a Justice feels it would be advantageous to his efficiency and to that of the Court to have an additional law clerk, he should have one.

The increase suggested, therefore, is for the number of four. I believe the sheet shows five additional law clerks requested. The fifth one we reconsidered yesterday in conference with the official Court Reporter, Mr. Wyatt. This clerk was to be for his benefit, at $4,150. He stated to us that although in his opinion it would be beneficial to have that additional law clerk, especially in summarizing arguments of counsel to be printed in our reports, nevertheless there was a possibility that with the new printing arrangement which we have with the Government Printing Office, which makes it possible for us to publish our slip opinions, as we call them, directly in the form of the final publication, there may be a saving of labor in his office; so therefore he is not requesting a law clerk at this time. That will reduce the request that is presently before the committee by one law clerk and in the sum of $4,150.

Mr. STEFAN. That would be a reduction from the total of $48,806 increase, the first item?

Mr. Justice BURTON. Yes.
Mr. STEFAN. By how much?

Mr. Justice BURTON. $4,150. That will also automatically make for a slight reduction in the blanket figure carried at the bottom at 10 percent for overtime, which would come to $415.

Mr. STEFAN. That will make the increase requested for salaries $44,000 plus?

Mr. Justice BURTON. Yes.
Mr. STEFAN. What other increases would you like to speak of?

ADDITIONAL CLERK-STENOGRAPHER

Mr. Justice BURTON. There is an increase requested of one clerk, from two to three; that is the clerk-stenographer for the Reporter's office. Our official Reporter, Mr. Walter Wyatt, who is here, has found that we are behind in our statutory obligation to publish our reports within 8 months after they are handed down, and that he needs this help.

Mr. STEFAN. That accounts for five additional personnel; four law clerks and one clerk-stenographer?

Mr. Justice BURTON. Yes.
Mr. STEFAN. What else is there?

LIBRARY ASSISTANTS

Mr. Justice BURTON. In subprofessional grade 3, there is an increase requested of one employee in the range of $1,954 to $2,394.

Mr. STEFAN. That makes a total increase in personnel of 6.
Mr. Justice BURTON. That is a minor library assistant, at $1,954.

I may say that the law library is being used increasingly by members of our bar from all over the country. When here they use our Supreme Court library, which is right above the court room.

Mr. STEFAN. Then we are having what we thought we were going to have, a law library in the Supreme Court and also one in the Library of Congress; is that right?

Mr. Justice BURTON. There is one in each place. The one in the Supreme Court is used a great deal.

Mr. STEFAN. Are you still taking books out from the Congressional Library for use in your library? Do you have a chute service?

Mr. Justice BURTON. No, we do not.

Mr. STEFAN. You will remember that was contemplated at one time, to have a chute service from the Library of Congress over to the Supreme Court.

Mr. WAGGAMAN. We found when the building was completed that the architect had not left room enough for this chute. It was contemplated originally. We use messenger service for that purpose.

Mr. STEFAN. You are using messenger service, then?

Mr. WAGGAMAN. Yes. That will be one of the duties of this employee we are asking for now.

Nr. STEFAN. This minor assistant would be a messenger?
Miss NEWMAN. Yes; he would be.
Mr. STEFAN. That accounts for six employees.

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