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The Supreme Court will join Congress and the president next year in cutting costs to reduce the federal deficit, Chief Justice John Roberts said Friday in his year-end report.

Roberts asked the court's staff to cut unnecessary expenses and improve operations to save money.

"As a result of those efforts, and notwithstanding increases in operating costs owing to inflation, the court expects to voluntarily reduce its fiscal year 2012 appropriations request to less than its fiscal year 2011 request. Not many other federal government entities can say that," Roberts said.

The federal judiciary is not a large part of federal spending — "less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the federal budget for one of the three constitutional branches of government," Roberts said.

"But the courts are committed to working closely with the president and Congress to shoulder our share of the burdens of reducing the federal deficit," the chief justice said. "We will strive to reduce costs where possible, but we ask in return that our coordinate branches of government continue to provide the financial resources that the courts must have to carry out their vital mission."

The other federal courts are also striving to save money, Roberts said. "Those initiatives include focused efforts to reduce judicial costs through more efficient use of office space, information technology and support personnel," he said.

The judiciary will reduce by 60 percent its request for new court staff in the next budget year, Roberts said.

Roberts also called on Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution to selecting federal judges, blaming both sides for the political blockage of judicial nominations in the Senate.


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