Page 73 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 DSC’s Ability to Advocate for the CJA Program
One reason often given for the concentration of decision making authority within the Judicial Conference structure is the importance of the judiciary speaking with “one voice” in its representations to other branches of government, the press, or any other entity.107 However, as the CJA Program has grown in size and sophistication, its requirements and responsibilities have increasingly diverged from those of the judiciary. The former chair of the DSC told the Committee,
while I fully understand the need for the judiciary to speak with a con- sistent voice, and I appreciate the difficult and generally successful work that has been done by [another JCUS] committee and its staff, I believe that there are issues specific to the defender and panel attorney programs on which we could assist and should have the opportunity to be heard.108
The budget formulation process is an example of where the DSC does not always prevail in being able to advocate for the best interests of the CJA program. The budget process is something that came up repeatedly throughout the hearings. Though the DSC is the committee with the most knowledge about and experience with the defender program, it lacks the authority to effectively advocate for the CJA budget within the judiciary and with Congress. Once the DSC meets and makes its recommendations on funding requests, those recommendations are then filtered through the Budget Committee and, ultimately, the Judicial Conference. As noted earlier, it is the Executive Committee’s role to determine whether issues raised will be discussed during one of the JCUS’s biannual meetings. Particularly problem-
atic are impediments to the DSC’s ability to directly formulate and transmit to the JCUS its budget request. If DSC’s view of CJA program needs is never conveyed to or approved by the JCUS, it cannot be considered by Congress. A more in-depth dis- cussion of the budget process is set forth below.
The same is true of DSC’s perspective on proposed legislation affecting the program. The DSC often has little or no say in the formulation of Conference policy on legislation.109 Because OLA is bound to advance only positions approved by the Conference, even where potential legislation may have a profound effect on the CJA
107 DuringameetingwiththeAOadministrationandseniorexecutives,theCommitteewastoldthat the judiciary must speak with one voice in its representation to other branches of government, the press, or any other entity.
108 ChiefJudgeCatherineBlake,D.Md.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel1,Tr.,at4–5.
109 TheDSC’sjurisdictionisextremelylimitedintermsofitsinputonlegislation:“Monitor, analyze, and propose for Judicial Conference consideration legislation affecting the appointment and compensation of counsel and, where appropriate, make recommendations to other Judicial Conference committees and to the Judicial Conference regarding issues which impact upon
the defender services program.” See The Judicial Conference of the United States and its Committees August 2013, Appendix Jurisdiction of Committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States (As approved by the Executive Committee, effective March 13, 2017).
No recommendation presented herein represents
the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United 2 0 1 7 R E P O R T O F T H E 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 29
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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