Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Fed Load Crushes Cruces Court.(Final)

Byline: Rene Romo Journal Southern Bureau

* U.S. courthouse is the only one in N.M. without a full-time, on-site judge

LAS CRUCES -- Federal court caseloads here have spiked in recent years with the crackdown on illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but the federal courthouse remains the only one in the state without a full-time, on-site judge.

Despite calls that Congress fund a new federal judgeship for New Mexico, the Senate Judiciary Committee in late May passed a bill creating 50 new federal judgeships nationwide but left Las Cruces off the list.

The omission "dismayed" Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., who said the District of New Mexico faces "one of the greatest shortages of authorized federal judgeships in the United States."

Domenici spokesman Chris Gallegos said the senator would try to amend the bill in conference or urge the matter to be addressed on the House side. …

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