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National Expenditure for Justice


1. Expenditure for justice is necessary.

2. Little attention is paid to the subject.

3. Because less money is involved in such legislation.

4. Superiority of the federal, over the state system of justice.

5. Judicial salaries.

6. Number of Circuit Courts.

7. Number of District Courts.

8. Payment of marshals.

9. Other expenditures.

1. Next to expenditure for defence, expenditure for justice is the most needful. A swift, effective and inex pensive mode of awarding justice to every citizen is one of the highest duties of the State.

2. Notwithstanding its obvious importance, to very many other matters is precedence given. The truth which becomes more and more apparent, as one explores the history of governing, is that power finally centres in a class of people who are determined to get something out of the Government in the way of money or a living for themselves. Many of our laws are attempts to secure greater economy in governing, but they are opposed by those who favor an increase of expenditure, thereby en abling themselves, their friends and assistants to extract more from the public. The course of legislation varies like a pendulum, swinging from one side to the other, as the party of reform and economy, or the party of waste fulness, is in the ascendant.

3. Remedial laws, .therefore, though of supreme im portance and of deepest interest to the people, have been less interesting to legislators than almost any other legis lation. Analyze the history of legislation, and the fact appears that in almost every bill some person or interest was to gain or suffer by its enactment or defeat. Some office was to be created or abolished ; some salary raised or reduced; contractors were to gain or lose. Yet cor rective legislation is less infected with the mark of money than almost any other, and so a small number have been interested in improving it.

4. The Federal system of justice has maintained a marked superiority over the State systems, for one obvi ous reason : judges are appointed for life.' Though judi cial compensation, considering the work performed by judges and their capacity to earn far more in practicing their profession, is very small, yet highly competent men are easily found, because their appointment is for life, adding dignity to the office, insuring independence of ac tion and consideration above sordid gains and interests.

5. The highest court of the United States is the Su preme Court, consisting of nine judges, each receiving an annual salary of $1o,000. The United States is divided into nine circuits, and to each circuit is assigned a Su preme Court judge, who performs some duty as a Cir cuit judge. Next may be mentioned the judges of the Circuit Courts of Appeal, who try cases that come to them on appeal from the District and Circuit Courts of the United States. Their circuits are similar in extent

to those of judges of the Supreme Court. Thus, there are nine Circuit Judges of Appeal. A Circuit judge, how ever, is usually assisted by two judges from other Circuit or District courts. Each judge is paid $6,oco a year.

6. Next may be mentioned the Circuit and District Courts. There are nine Circuit Courts, which are pre sided over by nine judges. In these tribunals actions are begun for various causes.

7. The District Courts are more numerous. Every State constitutes a District, and some of the larger States are divided into two or three districts, so that in the United States there are sixty-five District Courts. Dis trict judges receive an annual salary varying from $2,000 to $5,000 a year.

8. Marshals, who are the executive officers of the Federal courts, are important officers. They have been paid from the beginning until a recent date partly by salary and partly by fees. The fee system led to the grossest abuses, but all attempts to correct it failed until 1896.' Now, marshals and United States attorneys are salaried officers, and all fees received by them must be turned over to the clerks of courts, who in turn must account for them to the Treasury. It is still possible to make out false bills of the sums received. The plan in theory is right, and its efficient working depends on the selection of honest and capable men.

9. Besides the expenditures for judges and marshals are those for the clerks of courts, district attorneys, ju rors, commissioners, and various miscellaneous items con nected with prisons, etc.

"'By and with the advice and consent of the Senate." For the meaning of these words, see a valuable article in 42 Na tion 125.

Rep. Lacey's speech and statement of emoluments and expenses of deputy marshals for 1896. 28 Cong. Rec. 847. A few figures may be given. The deputy marshal of Oklahoma re ceived $212,665; of Eastern Texas, $67,199; of Western Arkansas, $33,427; of Northern Alabama, $26,049; of Middle Alabama, $37,780. When Logan H. Roots was marshal of the Western District of Arkansas the expenditures of the District for 1872 were $321,653. See Investigation into Western Dist. of Ark. H. of Rep. 43 Cong. 1 Sess. No. 626, June 1, 1874. See also Rep. Swanson's speech, 28 Cong. Rec. 78. For the successful working of the new salary system, see Annual Rep. of the Atty.-Gen. of U. S. 1896, p. VII.

courts, judges, district, circuit and salary