Posted: Dec 24, 2013 11:01 AM
Updated: Dec 24, 2013 11:02 AM
DALLAS (AP) Nine vacancies exist on federal courts that hear Texas cases amid concerns about growing dockets.
The Dallas Morning News (http://dallasne.ws/1c3FKDq ) on Tuesday reported those vacancies account for more than 20 percent of empty benches nationwide.
Royal Furgeson, who resigned from the bench and is dean of the University of North Texas Law School in Dallas, calls the persistent vacancies "a giant problem."
Four openings in Texas are deemed emergencies by the Judicial Conference of the United States due to heavy caseloads and long vacancies. Nationwide, only 39 vacancies have that label, including two on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
President Barack Obama last week named ex-prosecutor Gregg Costa, who's a federal judge in Galveston, to the 5th Circuit.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com