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Legislation Resolutions

Regarding Deportability and State Courts - 1996 MY
Credit Card Surcharges and State Courts - 1995 AM
Legal Services Corporation - 1995 AM
In Support of CCJ/COSCA Policy Statement on Child Support and State Courts - 1994 MY
In Support of CCJ Resolution Concerning the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 - 1994 MY
In Support of Recommendations of CCJ Regarding the Senate Version of H.R. 3355 (particularly the provisions related to drugs) - 1994 MY
In Opposition to the Passage of the Violent Crime Control Act - 1991 AM
In Support of the Adoption of the Amendment to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 - 1989 AM
Urging Congress to Take No Action Regarding the Powell Committee Report ( on habeas corpous) Until It Receives the Input of the Full Judicial Conference - 1989 AM
In Support of Guidelines for AIDS Legislation - 1987 AM
In Support of Amendment to S. 1730 (exemption from Social Security coverage for retired Federal Judges on active duty) - 1986 AM
In Support of the Purpose Propounded by the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 - 1984 AM
In Support of Funding of the State Justice Institute - 1983 MY


Resolution Regarding Deportability and State Courts

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Senate is presently considering the passage of S. 1664, entitled the "Immigration Control and Financial Responsibility Act of 1996", as reported by the Committee on the Judiciary on March 21, 1996; and,

WHEREAS, 1664 contains the following language in Section 165 (a) (B):

"(5) STATE COURT FINDING OF DEPORTABILITY, - (A) On motion of the prosecution or on the court's own motion, any State court with jurisdiction to enter judgments in criminal cases is authorized to make a finding that the defendant is deportable . .

That finding, when incorporated in a final judgment of conviction, shall for all purposes be conclusive on the alien and may not be reexamined by any agency or court, whether by habeas corpus or otherwise. The court shall notify the Attorney General of any finding of deportability." ; and,

WHEREAS, this provision has the potential for a vast increase in new state court litigation of complex federal deportation law that could overwhelm state trial and appellate courts; and

WHEREAS, S. 1664 does not provide funding for state court systems to undertake this new and complicated litigation and therefore would be a substantially unfunded Federal mandate on the state court systems.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, does go on record in opposition to the passage of S. 1664 if Section 165(a)(B) is retained in the Bill and the American Judges Association strongly urges the Senate or the Conference Committee on the Bill to delete this provision from the Bill.

Duly adopted by the Board of Governors of the American Judges Association at the 1996 Midyear Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 19,1996.

AJA Resolutions Committee
Hon. Bertram J. Gaynor, Vice Chair
Hon. George Greig
Hon. Leslie G. Johnson
Hon. Ira J. Raab, Chair
So ordered: Hon. Martin E. Kravarik, President

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Credit Card Surcharges and State Courts

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association feels that it would be convenient for the public to be able to pay their taxes, motor vehicle registration fees and fines or other criminal or civil penalties by credit card; and

WHEREAS, the bylaws of VISA, MasterCard and most credit card companies prohibit all card acceptors, including government agencies, from passing the cost of credit card transactions directly on to the customer using the credit card; and

WHEREAS, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for governmental agencies to absorb the current surcharge fee.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, supports the adoption of H.R. 1169 so as to grant federal, state and local governments, including courts, the option to collect the surcharge fee from the individuals who desire to pay their taxes and fees.

Adopted at the 1995 Annual Conference on October 12, 1995.

Hon. Leslie G. Johnson
AJA Resolutions Committee
Hon. Bertram J. Gaynor
Hon. Anthony Johnson
Hon. Ira J. Raab

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Legal Services Corporation

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association and its members are deeply concerned about the efficient and fair operation of our court system; and

WHEREAS, the Legal Services Corporation provides a wide range of services to those otherwise unable to afford legal representation; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States is now debating the future of the Legal Services Corporation.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, supports the continued funding of the Legal Services Corporation at a level which will allow the Corporation to continue to provide the services which is presently provides;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, urges Congress to provide funding as presently provided instead of through the method of block grants to states.

Adopted at the 1995 Annual Conference on October 12, 1995.

Hon. Leslie G. Johnson
AJA Resolutions Committee
Hon. Bertram J. Gaynor
Hon. Anthony Johnson
Hon. Ira J. Raab

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In Support of CCJ/COSCA: A Policy Statement on Child Support and State Courts

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association and its members are vitally interested in all matters which pertain to the courts and the dispensing of justice, and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association by and through its Board of Governors has studied and agrees with a policy statement on child support and state courts adopted by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators in February, 1994, which reads as follows:

Effective administrative of child support is vital to children and families who depend on it, and by extension, to society at large. Achieving this goal requires a determined effort by government agencies, communities and courts who must work in an integrated manner and as equal partners. The Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators, as the leadership voice for state courts, are committed to participating in this mission.

Public policy, and funding to support the policy, must balance the needs of administrative and judicial entities and reflect the different service delivery methods that exist. Ideally, judicial involvement in child support ought to be focused on those functions where it will have the most impact in a cost and time efficient manner. Where administrative services are more effective, they ought to be used.

The Conference of Chief of Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators are committed to work for needed legislative and regulatory reforms, and support:

  1. federal policy recognizing state courts as partners in identifying problems and solutions in the child support area;

  2. realistic incentives, rather than unfunded mandates, designed to improve intrastate and interstate child support enforcement services; and

  3. the preservation and strengthening of state-based child support enforcement systems, supplemented, where appropriate, by services available through federal agencies.

The Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators call upon federal, state and local legislative bodies to: recognize the need for effective programs; to identify the appropriate roles of the various entities providing services; to distinguish between what does and does not work; and, to make resources available that complement effective service delivery to children and families in need.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, agrees with the policy statement on child support and state courts adopted by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators in February, 1994 and lends its endorsement and support to this policy statement and further urges any and all necessary action for the implementation of this policy statement.

Adopted at the Midyear Meeting April 1994 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hon. Leslie G. Johnson, Chair
AJA Resolutions Committee
Rupert Doan
Charles Flemming
Bertram J. Gaynor
Thomas Mali
Hon. Ira J. Raab
Mortimer Rogers

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In Support of CCJ Resolution Concerning the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association and its members are vitally interested in all matters which pertaining to the courts including legislation affecting the courts and the dispensing of justice, and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association is aware that by Congressional action is pending on the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association by and through its Board of Governors has studied Resolution IX adopted by the Conference of Chief Justices at the seventeenth mid-year meeting in Sea Island, Georgia, on February 10, 1994, which reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the Senate version on H.R. 3355, which has passed the Senate and has been sent to conference, would result in the indiscriminate federalization of crime, the needless disruption of effective state and local enforcement efforts, and the inefficient use of the special but limited resources of the federal courts; and

WHEREAS, the state courts and prosecutorial agencies are responsible for more than 95% of all criminal prosecutions in the United States, and

WHEREAS, by imposing on State federal standards and programs, the proposed legislation would curtail the selective use of pretrial detention, sentencing and parole, and would invalidate principles of substantive state law - areas in which states have a constitutional responsibility under the principles of federalism and a long and proven history of successful initiatives, and

WHEREAS, in addition to contravening principles of federalism, this legislation is further flawed because it:

  1. assumes without foundation that states have been unresponsive and ineffective in addressing crime

  2. fails to enact plausible solutions of violence, drugs, weapons or gangs;

  3. creates an illusion by enacting new criminal law, and

  4. disrupts funding of state criminal processes by favoring police and corrections with federal funds while disregarding the need this creates for commensurate resources for courts, prosecutors and defense counsel; and

WHEREAS, the command of the 10th Amendment encourages each state to serve as a laboratory for development of legal remedies and principles in criminal and civil law, without intrusion of federal authority.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Conference of Chief Justices:

strongly believes that the problems of crime in our nation must be addressed in a meaningful way to provide resources and reinforcement for the efforts of state judicial, legislative and executive leaders to address the problems of crime in their jurisdictions;

strongly opposes federal action which contrary to the principles of federalism and historical experience, would have the pernicious effect of federalizing State criminal law and procedure; and

strongly opposes provisions of the proposed legislation which would require that the limited resources of the federal courts be expended in the prosecution and trial of ordinary street crimes, to the exclusion of interstate crime syndicates, corruption in public office, the vindication of individual constitutional rights and other traditional federal issues.

AND WHEREAS, the American Judges Association by and through its Board of Governors agrees with the position adopted by the Conference of Chief Justices in the above resolution,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association hereby joins with the Conference of Chief Justices in support of its Resolution IX concerning the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and urges the president, members of the Senate, and members of the House of Representatives to be aware of the matters raised in this resolution and to amend the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and urges the president, members of the Senate, and members of the House of Representatives to be aware of the matters raised in this resolution and to amend the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 in order to address the concerns addressed herein.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, William J. Clinton, and to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Chairman, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on this the 15th day of April, 1994 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

Adopted at the Midyear Meeting April 1994 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hon. Leslie G. Johnson, Chair
AJA Resolutions Committee
Rupert Doan
Charles Flemming
Bertram J. Gaynor
Thomas Mali
Hon. Ira J. Raab
Mortimer Rogers

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In Support of Recommendation of CCJ Regarding the Senate Version of H.R. 3355 (particularly the provisions related to drugs)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association and each of its members are vitally interested in all matters concerning the judiciary and the dispensement of justice and whereas it has been called to the attention of the American Judges Association and its members that the Conference of Chief Justices as its recent midyear meeting reviewed the Senate version of H.R. 3355 and particularly the provisions related to drugs, and whereas the Conference of Chief Justices is composed of the highest judicial officer in each of the 56 state, territorial, and commonwealth court systems and the District of Columbia, and whereas the Board of Governors of the American Judges Association has reviewed, and agrees with, the recommendations of the Conference of Chief Justices which read as follows:

FIRST, in Title XII, we support the concept of court-enforced drug treatment programs and urge you to add language that will provide grants for developing, operating, operating, and evaluating these programs. As you know, there is currently o language in Title XII about court-enforced treatment programs even though it is titled "Drug Court Programs." The Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators support a comprehensive approach to cases involving substance abuse that make screening, assessment, and treatment for substance abuse available at all stages of the adjudicatory process. It is important that programs funded by the Bill contain these critical elements to be effective: early screening, assessment and court-enforced treatment at all stages of the process. We encourage you to use this language when filling in the provisions of the Title.

SECOND, we support treatment for incarcerated substance-abusing offenders as proposed in Title XII and Title VII. We also support the aggressive development of intermediate sanctions and diversion programs that include treatment for certain substance abuse offenses for all ages, not just for young offenders.

THIRD, it is critical that new procedures be developed under this Bill that will include the judicial branch of government as an equal partner in the planning process for distribution of grants at the state and local level. This will ensure that state judicial systems have the necessary access to grant funds. The existing Bureau of Justice Assistance procedure for distributing anti-drug abuse block formula funds to the states is unacceptable to the state judiciaries. The Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators have requested that this procedure be changed on more than one occasion.

FOURTH, we request that Title X, Subtitle B, specify that court should be eligible members of the community coalitions that will be supported by grants to address prevention and to coordinate substance abuse services and treatment procedures. It is the position of the Conference of Chief Justices that, as a part of the court's responsibility for managing cases, courts must develop procedures for drawing on resources outside the justice system. Courts participation will ensure that all matters involving substance abuse can be effectively resolved to the benefit of the individual offender or litigant and to the benefit of the community as a whole, as well

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, by and through its Board of Governors does hereby endorse the recommendations set out above of the Conference of Chief Justices, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, William J. Clinton, and to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Chairman, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on this the 15th day of April, 1994 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

Adopted at the 1994 Midyear Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 1994.

Hon. Leslie G. Johnson, Chair
AJA Resolutions Committee
Rupert Doan
Charles Flemming
Bertram J. Gaynor
Thomas Mali
Hon. Ira J. Raab
Mortimer Rogers

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In Opposition to the Passage of the Violent Crime Control Act

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the United States Congress is presently considering the passage of an act entitled, "Violent Crime Control Act"; and

WHEREAS, the proposed legislation, in addition to other things, provides that in those cases where first degree murder is allegedly committed with a firearm which had been taken over state lines, the Federal authorities may at their option seize jurisdiction over the matter and try the defendant in Federal Court where the death penalty could be imposed; and,

WHEREAS, the said Act fails to provide a budget to cover the cost of prosecution of such cases; and

WHEREAS, the said Act would vitiate the Sovereign rights of the states to prosecute for crimes committed within their borders; and

WHEREAS, the said Act as presently proposed would give greater import to murder committed with a firearm as opposed to murder committed with any other type of weapon; and

WHEREAS, the provisions of the said Act could lead to Federal Authorities selecting only high profile cases to try in the Federal Courts;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association, does go on record in opposition to the passage of the Violent Crime Control Act with its present provisions and strongly urges that the Act in its present form be denied passage.

Adopted at the Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington on August, 1991.

Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee
Jay Stuart Dankberg
Rupert Doan
Charles Flemming
Hon. Ira J. Raab
Mortimer Rogers

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In Support of the Adoption of the Amendment to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 - 1989

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Conference of Chief Justices and the American Bar Association have individually passed resolutions in support of the proposed amendment to the Federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.U. 96-272); and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association supports the proposed amendment to the said Act; and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association agrees with the concept that the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act does not presently require states to provide preventive and reunification services on a consistent, state-wide basis; and

WHEREAS, the Act as constituted does not require child welfare agencies to provide detailed reports to courts and to other interested agencies concerning preventive and reunification services available throughout the state; and

WHEREAS, the Act does not require agencies to provide courts with written statements describing efforts to preserve families in each individual case; and

WHEREAS, it should be clarified that there is a private cause of action under the Act; and

WHEREAS, it should be made clear that agencies are entitled to federal matching funds to reimburse their costs of legal counsel in helping them administer the Act, but on condition that agency counsel perform certain duties needed for effective implementation of the Act; and

WHEREAS, lump sum payments should be provided to state court systems to help them improve their administration of juvenile court cases involving foster children; and

WHEREAS, federal matching funds should be available for the administrative costs of citizen review boards that are not administered by state and local child welfare agencies; and

WHEREAS, fiscal incentives should be provided to courts that reduce or limit delays in foster care litigation and improve their court rules governing foster care cases,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association supports the adoption of the Amendment to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.U. 96-272) as proposed and supported by the American Bar Association and the Conference of Chief Justices, and that a copy of this said resolution be sent to the Congress of the United States, the American Bar Association and the Conference of Chief Justices.

Adopted: Nashville, Tennessee October, 1989.

Submitted by: Chief Justice Thomas F. Fay
Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee
Jay Stuart Dankberg
Rupert Doan
Charles Flemming
Hon. Ira J. Raab
Mortimer Rogers

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Urging Congress to Take No Action Regarding the Powell Committee Report (on habeas corpus) Until It Receives the Input of the Full Judicial Conference 1989

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, there has been adverse reaction to the Powell Committee report on reformation of habeas corpus in capital cases; and

WHEREAS, the National Law Journal has reported that in excess of one-half of the Chief Judges of the federal appeals system have expressed concern as to the effect of such reformation; and

WHEREAS, changes which impinge in any way upon the writ of habeas corpus of necessity touch upon guaranteed constitutional freedoms and impact upon the freedom and independence of the judiciary,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association - in concert with the Chief Judges of the federal bench - urges the Congress of the United States to take no action regarding the Powell Committee report until the Congress receives the input of the full Judicial Conference, and that a copy of this resolution be sent forthwide to the members of the Senate and the House Judiciary Committees.

Adopted: Nashville, Tennessee October, 1989.

Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee
Jay Stuart Dankberg
Rupert Doan
Hon. Ira J. Raab
Mortimer Rogers

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In Support of Guidelines for AIDS Legislation

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association is cognizant of the present scourge of AIDS and its and its effects upon all elements of our society, and

WHEREAS, no group is more aware than the American Judges Association of the civil rights of those suffering with AIDS; their right to privacy, to fair and proper treatment and care, their right to be free of discriminatory actions and the right they share with all citizens, the right to die with dignity; and

WHEREAS, the Association is also properly concerned with limiting the spread of this condition and with the protection of the members of law enforcement and correction agencies as well as all court personnel; and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association is convinced that it is mandatory that there be established a specific, uniform set of guidelines pertaining to the processing of persons with AIDS;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association recommends and urges each and every individual state legislature as well as the Congress of the United States to act immediately to pass the necessary legislation to begin and AIDS program which specifically sets forth and addresses the establishment of guidelines which can be employed by the said law enforcement and correction agencies and all judicial staff to blaze a path whereby these agencies and staff have a map to use in the handling of situations in which AIDS is present or suspect; and further be it resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to both houses of every state legislature and to the leaders of both houses of Congress, as well as a copy to the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.

Adopted: Kiamesha Lake, New York October, 1987.

Recommended by the Legislation Committee
Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee

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In Support of Amendments to S. 1730 (exemption from Social Security coverage for retired federal judges on active duty)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association with its manifest desire for uniformity and fairness within the judiciary wishes to do all in its power to assure the equal treatment of both Federal and State Court Judges; and

WHEREAS, there is presently under consideration an amendment to S. 1730 concerning Exemption from Social Security Coverage for Retired Federal Judges Active Duty; and

WHEREAS, the American Judges Association feels it fair, equitable and just that state judges be given equal treatment in the above regard.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association go on record as supporting an Amendment to S. 1730, whereby Sec. 7696C of said Legislation be amended to read, "Exemption from Social Security Coverage for retired judges on active or per diem and drawing Social Security," and that the same modifications be included in Amendments to both the Social Security Act and Internal Revenue Code, and that a copy of this said resolution be sent to all members of the United States Congress for action thereon.

Adopted: Kona, Hawaii, October 1986.

Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee

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In Support of the Purposes Propounded by the State Justice Institute Act of 1984

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 has as its expressed and avowed purpose, "to further the development and adoption of improved judicial administration in state courts in the United States"; and

WHEREAS, the said expressed purpose is in accord with that which is promulgated and held most dear by the American Judges Association; and

WHEREAS, the said American Judges Association is most cognizant of the ever increasing burdens being placed upon the individual state court systems; and

WHEREAS, the goal of improving the administration of justice is a matter of national concern,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association endorse the purposes and funding of the said Act and further that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the appropriate persons, organizations and boards charged with the duty of effectuating the purposes of the said Act.

Adopted: November 29, 1984 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee

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In Support of Funding of the State Justice Institute

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the State Justice Institute Act introduced in the current session of the Congress (Senate Bill S. 384, House Bill H.R. 3403) provides federal funding assistance for state court improvements, including funds for judicial education and other improvement programs of organizations such as the American Judges Association, the American Academy of Judicial Education, and the National Center for State Courts; and

WHEREAS, the State Justice Institute to be established by such legislation would provide federal funds for state court improvement in a manner consistent with principles of federalism acceptable to the state courts;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Judges Association endorse the State Justice Institute Act and urge its passage and funding by the Congress;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the appropriate persons to effectuate its purpose.

This resolution was introduced by the American Judges Association Board of Governors and is recommended for passage by the Resolutions Committee.

Judge John A. Mutter, Chairman
AJA Resolutions Committee

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