Federal courts won’t close on Friday, even as government funding dries up
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Federal courts are expected to be able to operate for about two weeks if Congress does not pass a bill to extend government funding by midnight Thursday, when funding expires for most federal agencies.
U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan, president of the executive committee of the American Judicial Conference, told reporters the issue was discussed at a meeting on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
“The judiciary will not close and the judicial employees will report to work on Friday,” she said after the meeting. “If we have a shortage of funds, we should be able to maintain operations for about two weeks. “
Federal courts can remain open for a brief period because they can use filing fees and other sources of funding not dependent on appropriation by Congress.
Charles Hall, spokesperson for the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, said federal courts could continue to operate until about October 15, according to Reuters.
Reuters points out that in the last shutdown which ended in January 2019, federal courts initially ruled that they could continue to operate for around three weeks. However, they remained open beyond this period by delaying new hires, reducing unrelated business travel, and postponing some contracts.