Natural disasters, sexual harassment focuses of year-end report

Chief Justice John Roberts released his year-end report on the federal judiciary tonight. In 2016, Roberts used the report to pay homage to what he regarded as the unsung hero of the federal judiciary: the federal district judge, whom he described as a “capable administrator” but also an “active and astute problem solver.” Roberts’ 2017 report was more directly reflective of current events, focusing on the federal judiciary’s response to natural disasters – such as hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands – and sexual harassment in the workplace. Roberts began by acknowledging that disaster response efforts are “primarily the responsibility of the executive and legislative branches.” Although courts “cannot provide food, shelter, or medical aid,” he observed, “they must stand ready to perform their judicial functions as part of the recovery effort.” Roberts described the…

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