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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"I don't think we can run the justice system."

Chief Justice John Broderick claims that cutting the Judicial System's budget by 3% is impossible, despite Governor John Lynch's request that all segments of state government submit such plans. Lauren Dorgan gets the Chief's thoughts on the budget in this morning's Concord Monitor:

The judicial branch is operating without seven judges - a number Broderick described as extraordinary - with positions at almost every level left open by Gov. John Lynch.

"I don't remember any time in my now 36 years as a lawyer and judge in New Hampshire when there've been seven vacancies at one time," Broderick said.

At the request of the governor, Broderick laid out in a recent letter a series of steps the judicial branch could take to further cut its budget. The top of the list: holding open until the summer the Supreme Court vacancy that will be created when Justice Richard Galway steps down in February.

Broderick is not one of the Governor's department heads, but the presiding officer of a co-equal branch of government. But like the Governor, he still relies on the Legislature, and New Hampshire taxpayers, to pay his bills.

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