On February 24, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing titled, “The Need for New Lower Court Judgeships, 30 Years in the Making.”  Chief Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Eastern District of California testified about the longstanding need for five (5) additional district judgeships in our District. A copy of her written testimony is available here. A live stream of Chief Judge Mueller's oral testimony is available here and begins at 22:21. Additionally, a guide to frequently asked questions is available here.

The National Law Journal noted, "Each judge described the crises their own districts face without more judgeships; Mueller said her court has been in a judicial emergency for more than 20 years, describing the effort to catch up with dockets as a Sisyphean task. Mueller said that when she asked her permanent law clerk about how best to address her caseload, he recommended an unfeasible volume of work and suggested she lobby those who could expand the court."

Judge Mueller "noted her court has hosted many visiting judges to help out in recent years, but said this is no substitute for full judgeships. But visiting judges don’t come with staff, she said, nor do they have an ongoing caseload," the Daily Journal wrote.

Law 360 reported, "Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Eastern District of California described workloads so overwhelming that cases are sometimes docketed to a "Judge NONE." She said staff juggle urgent matters like "triage nurses" while judges try to manage cases rushing by like chocolates on the production line on "I Love Lucy.""

The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote, "In a hearing Wednesday held by the House Committee on the Judiciary, both congress members and witnesses, including those from San Diego, characterized the situation as a crisis that has been decades in the making."

They continue writing, "“For 20 years-plus we’ve been in a judicial emergency,” Chief District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California testified to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet."

"However it's done, Mueller said, Congress needs to help the courts now. “Without your help, justice delayed is in fact justice denied,” she said," writes the Cronkite News.