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Government Shutdown Could Close Texas' Federal Courts

Our courts matter, but the Ted Cruz-led shutdown of the government is about to get in their way. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced that federal courts across the country, including anywhere from 30 to over 100 federal court offices in Texas, could close as early as this week unless the government shutdown is averted.

From the Associated Press:

The government shutdown is slowing the wheels of justice in federal courts by delaying civil cases, forcing prosecutors to operate with skeleton staffs and raising uncertainty about the system's immediate future if the stalemate continues past Thursday.

That's when federal courts officials expect the reserve funds they have been using since the Oct. 1 start of the shutdown will run out.

Criminal cases, which are required by law to go to a speedy trial, are still moving ahead, as are most bankruptcy cases and appeals. Civil cases and those in immigration court, however, are feeling the greatest impact from the shutdown.

Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz need to call off the shutdown they created and preserve access to justice for Texans and all Americans. If we close our federal courts, the judicial vacancy crisis and the backlog it has created – for criminal cases, drug cases, immigration cases, bankruptcy cases, all of them – will only get worse.