The evidence has been building for years that federal courts are hostile to discrimination plaintiffs, and that corporate plaintiffs fare much better than individual plaintiffs.
The U.S. Courts were created under Article III of the Constitution to administer justice fairly and impartially. So it doesn’t seem right that federal judges appear to be biased, either consciously or unconsciously, against the discrimination victims and the individual plaintiffs who appear before them.
Individual federal judges are working to improve the operation of federal courts but this obviously is a systemic problem that deserves a systemic solution. Shouldn’t the entity that runs our nation’s federal court system be working to insure that our courts are independent and unbiased forums for all.
It seems the Judicial Conference of the United States runs our federal court system. The Conference describes itself as the “national policy making body” for U.S. courts and it is charged with “studying the operation and effect of the general rules of practice and procedure in the federal courts.” The conference appears to be a 16-member body (with two observers) that is run by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. It includes the Chief Judge of the Court of International Trade and a district judge from each regional judicial circuit. There are no citizen representatives.
How do you contact the Judicial Conference? The web site of the Judicial Conference lacks contact information, stating: “Requests for consideration of items by the Judicial Conference of the United States or one of its committees should be directed to the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.” There is no contact information or link to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts but I did a web search and found it here.
Nothing on the AOC landing page indicates how to contact the director of the AOC or what other individual(s) might receive a complaint about apparent systemic discrimination in federal courts. At the bottom of the page there is a “contact us” tab that leads to the AOC’s Washington D.C. address, the phone number of the “Public Information Officer” and a “Send us a Message” form. The “Send us a Message” form states: “Have a comment about uscourts.gov? Find a broken link? Need help finding a publication or statistics? Send us a message by filling out the form below. If you’d like a response, be sure to include your email address.”
I don’t have a comment, didn’t find a broken link and I’m not trying to find a publication. My problem deals with the nationwide apparent systemic unfairness of our federal courts toward discrimination victims and the apparent preferential treatment accorded to corporations. I want to know what, if anything, the leadership of our nation’s federal courts is doing to insure that these courts are independent and unbiased forums for all. Still, I left the following message on the AOC’s web site;
To Whom it May Concern:
I don’t have a comment, haven’t found a broken link, and don’t need a publication or statistics. I am contacting your because I think there is a major systemic problem in our federal court system that has existed for years. There is significant research showing that federal judges dismiss employment discrimination cases at a far higher rate than other types of cases, and that they accord preferential treatment to corporate plaintiffs. This doesn’t seem fair. What, if anything, are you doing to address this? Oh, I guess I do want a statistic after-all. What is the racial composition of the conference? Thanks! Patricia G. Barnes
I might have directed them to my book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace, which contains several suggestions for improving federal courts, but I don’t want to seem impudent.
AOC Public Information Officer, Karen Redmond said the Judicial Conference ordinarily addresses issues that are brought to its attention by the various federal circuits. She said American citizens who have a problem normally go to the federal circuit court in their geographical area to seek redress.
Frankly, I won’t hold my breath waiting for the answer from the Judicial Conference. I get the feeling from its web site that the Judicial Conference isn’t keen on citizen input. But if I do get a response, I’ll be sure to tell you.