Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Political gridlock creates backlog at federal courthouse

Oct 18, 2011

Even before the recent retirement of Justice Oliver Wanger, the Fresno division of the US District Court’s Eastern District of California faced big case backlogs. The district is home to over 6.7 million residents, and 19 of California’s 33 state and federal prisons, but the Fresno division is home to just two judges, and the nation’s heaviest caseloads.

That’s leading many, including Wanger, and Justice Anthony Ishii to suggest that the court may need to stop seeing civil cases. Valley Public Radio's Juanita Stevenson reports on what the judicial bottleneck means for Valley residents, and retired Justice Wanger joins us for an in-studio conversation about how political gridlock in Washington DC has helped to create this problem.