Page 90 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 90

 FINDINGS
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R E P O R T
O F
T H E
Chair of the Budget Committee may ask other representatives to accompany her to appropriations hearings. In recent years, no member of the DSC, representative of DSO, or defender has been asked to appear at these hearings.169 Indeed, DSO and defender staff can interact with Congressional appropriations staff only by arrange- ment of the FLS. This has rarely happened.
Judiciary as Advocates for Defense Funding
The Committee received testimony from judges, and some defenders, that the CJA program is best served by continuing the judiciary’s advocacy for its budget. This position is primarily premised upon the belief that by being under JCUS supervi- sion, the defender budget will be protected from political influence, and that with- out this protection, the federal defense program’s funding could be jeopardized.170
For instance, one federal judge told the Committee that her “fear is that Congress, which is even further removed from observing the critical work that these fabulous attorneys do, will be even less understanding of the need for funding with- out our support.”171 Another judge expressed concern that if defenders approach the legislative branch, “for a certain amount of money to defend somebody who’s com- mitted what appears to be a very heinous crime, I don’t know that you have that level of sympathy for the defense function in all areas of the political realm.”172
These witnesses supported judicial budget advocacy for several reasons, includ- ing: 1) the current quality of advocacy for the CJA is quite high; 2) the defender budget is protected from unusually steep cuts by being part of the larger judiciary budget; 3) the defender budget receives more favorable treatment because it benefits from the judiciary’s institutional prestige; 4) defenders would be poor advocates for their budget, and Congress does not understand or support the defender mission, thus necessitating judicial protection.173
These justifications are examined below.
HIGH QUALITY OF CURRENT ADVOCACY
While the Committee recognizes that the Budget Committee may be strongly com- mitted to the highest quality public defense, the current structure does not promote advocacy for the CJA in the budgeting process. Generally, DSO staff reviews a draft of the testimony prepared by BAPO staff, but is not actively involved in the preparation
169 MichaelNachmanoff,formerFederalPublicDefenderfortheEasternDistrictofVirginia,didtestify with the chair of the Budget Committee and others, at a Senate Panel on the impact of sequestration in July 2013. This was not a formal appropriations hearing.
170 TheCommitteedisagreeswiththepremiseadvancedbysomethatsomejudgesorthejudicial branch would cease to support the CJA program if it was no longer located within the JCUS structure. To the contrary, the Committee firmly believes that judges would continue to support strong Sixth Amendment protections and the integrity of the criminal justice system in their courts.
171 Mag.JudgeCherylPollak,E.D.N.Y.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel2b,Tr.,at3.
172 ChiefJudgeLawrenceStengel,E.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel8,Tr.,at26. 173 JudgeFedericoMoreno,S.D.Fla.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel6,Tr.,21–25.
No recommendation presented herein represents A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States unless approved by the Conference itself.

















































































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