Jeopardizing the Rule of Law: The Impact of Sequestration on the Administration of Justice

Stephanie P. Newbold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The research presented in this article is a product of my U.S. Supreme Court Fellowship in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice. Founded in 1973 by former Chief Justice Warren Burger, the purpose of the Supreme Court Fellows program is to bring mid-career professionals interested in judicial branch governance to Washington to help advance the mission and goals of the judiciary. Working for an office that serves as an extension of the Chief Justice’s Chambers provided unparalleled access to learn first-hand (a) how the federal courts are managed and operated; (b) how the Chief Justice of the United States directs the managerial, budgetary, and policy priorities of the federal judiciary; and (c) how the Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court cultivate relationships with members of the legislative and executive branches to secure the resources needed for the federal court system to carry out its constitutional obligations and judicial responsibilities. This article focuses specifically on sequestration, the most important policy and budgetary issue currently affecting the U.S. federal court system, and a topic that was a focal point during my Fellowship year. Currently, extreme budget cuts are prohibiting the federal courts and judicial branch agencies across the country from carrying out their responsibilities to the individuals they serve. If Congress continues enforcing the sequester, the third branch of government will no longer be able to contribute to the American constitutional order in an efficient, effective, and responsive manner. Consequently, the rule of law in the United States is in jeopardy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-299
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


  • administrative management
  • democratic-constitutionalism
  • judicial branch dynamics
  • sequestration


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