MINOT, N.D. — In his State of the Judiciary address to state lawmakers earlier this month, Justice Jon Jensen, chief of North Dakota’s Supreme Court, argued in favor of a pay increase for the state’s judges.
He should get it.
His case for the pay raises? It’s math, and it’s compelling.
While we’re paying for fewer judges, they’re doing more work. Our courts, in their most recent annual report, saw approximately 159,000 new cases, and 21,000 re-opened cases. Those numbers are growing, yet fewer judges are on the bench than 30 years ago when our state’s population was 21% less.
“Every one of our districts are handling more cases and handling the caseload with less judicial officers than were in the judicial branch in 1990,” Jensen told lawmakers .