In a recent blog posting, U.S. District Judge Richard Kopt said it’s time to tell Congress to “go to hell” for allowing a partial government shutdown.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Kopf wrote, noting that court funding has significantly been cut since the shutdown.
The Bush appointee complained that the partial shutdown has forced the courts to furlough non-essential employees and use court fees and income to continue operations.
A congressional report published prior to the shutdown forecasted that those accounts would run dry in 10 days, when only “essential work” by furlough-exempt judges, core staff and probation and parole officers would be able to work.
Funding for federal courts was less than 5 percent in 2012, which means funds for this fiscal year amounted to about $350 million less.
Kopf has called for a confrontation with the Legislative Branch, requesting that his fellow judges declare all employees exempt from furlough.
By making all remaining employees essential, Kopf believes Congress would back down and be saved from destroying the Judicial Branch.
Or, Kopf wrote, both branches would go “batsh*t” and “have it out” with each other.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson has also pushed back against Congress.
Jackson suggested to the Republican-led House that the shutdown will slow Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts to turn over records related to Obama’s failed Operation Fast and Furious gun-tracking program.