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Forget Mount Rushmore: We’re Going to Need Volunteers to Run the Federal Courts

I agree with Mr. Uecker that Governor Daugaard's and Senator Cruz's piecemeal approach to the federal government shutdown is distracting silliness. The Governor's offer to keep Mount Rushmore open with state workers and resources will also seem sillier in about ten days, when something much more essential to functioning democracy will have to cease operations—the federal courts:

The Federal District Court in Sioux Falls is operating as if nothing has happened. So far, the govenment shutdown hasn’t made any immediate impact on their employees. Federal District Court Clerk Joseph Haas says Federal Courts are different because of certain powers they hold.

"Federal courts have the authority to use fee money collected in the last fiscal year in the next fiscal year. So we’ve accumulated enough fee money nationally to allow the courts to operate for about ten business days," Haas says.

Haas says if the shutdown nears ten business days, leaders could have a conversation to see what areas are essential and which could temporarily close [Nate Wek, "Federal District Courts Remain Open During Shutdown,", 2013.10.01].

Will Governor Daugaard volunteer Their Honors Tucker, Long, and Barnett to start hearing federal tax evasion, sex trafficking, and bankruptcy cases? (I can think of some folks who might like to see the Northern Beef Packers case fall into the hands of Rounds-Daugaard appointees.) Or will the Governor call his GOP counterparts in Washington and tell them to stop running the country into the ditch?

Related 09:03 CDT: Mr. Larson goes all Rushmore on the GOP shutdowners and offers up lines from Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln criticizing the Republicans' uncompromising hostage-taking of parks, courts, and the federal budget


  1. Roger Elgersma 2013.10.02

    The courts are a dictatorship. They change the laws and add some and throw out some. They tell the legislature not to make laws on custody so that the lawyers can be smart asses and tell us that they will represent us if a law was broken. They made sure there would be no laws.

  2. uncleimbo 2013.10.02

    how many actual federal tax evasion, sex trafficking, and bankruptcy cases are set to be heard during the next 30 days?

    trials dates are always pushed back for a variety of reasons, including some pretty silly stuff.

    additionally, if anyone that's been incarcerated is currently in jail, they will stay there or on probation or in home confinement until the hearing/trial is held.

    so, what's the real problem here?

  3. Jerry 2013.10.02

    I give up, how many? You imply that if you are already in jail awaiting trial, so what? You are already there, so no foul. What if you are there and you are innocent? Here, in America, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Of course, we all know that is not quite how it works, but nonetheless, your court should not be delayed for any reason. That is a problem.

    If you are awaiting discharge papers from a bankruptcy to be able to allow creditors and yourself to resume their lives, that is a real problem as well. As you say, pretty silly stuff has always been involved with delay's. That does not make it right.

  4. Donald Pay 2013.10.02

    My co-worker has jury duty this month. He was scheduled for a trial today, but was told not to come due to government shut down. Maybe parts of the federal court system are working, but what about the folks who transport prisoners, etc., who aren't in the court system?

  5. grudznick 2013.10.02

    The heinous libbies in DC have really made it a sticky wicket for the workers of the unionized federal government. Party of the laborers indeed.

  6. John Hess 2013.10.02

    Oh please Grudznick. You claimed on that other blog to be a reasonable person. Obamacare is law. It was voted in by Congress and sustained by the Supreme Court. The Republican attempt to circumvent is treasonous (or awfully darn close).

  7. grudznick 2013.10.02

    Then Mr. Hess, I submit to you that it is unreasonable and awfully darn close to something to refer an legal law of the state. So that stuff that was voted in by our legislatures and sustained by all that a bunch of whining had referred, is that reasonable?

    I, for one, support the right of citizens to complain and even whine about stupid laws or even unstupid laws. Because I am reasonable.

  8. grudznick 2013.10.02

    Obamacare is just like Mr. H. won't like that comment and will become enraged. But it is so.

  9. John Hess 2013.10.02

    Actually I'm just kind of amused by your nonsensical blather. It's the law. Deal with it. Please repeat over and over until you get it: IT'S THE LAW!

  10. grudznick 2013.10.02

    BAH! I say.

    Actually I'm rather amused by it too so thanks. Plus, it enrages Mr. H.

  11. John Hess 2013.10.02

    Pathetic Grudznick. On the positive we should celebrate the second day of enrollment in The Affordable Care Act. Wow, it's finally here.

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