In a recent letter from Chief Judge Batchelder, the Court noted that it would not hold the traditional biennial judicial conference provided for pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 333.  Traditionally, the Sixth Circuit holds an open  judicial conference every other year, with a judges-only conferences in the intervening years.  This is typically a significant event for the Court, with most circuit and district judges within the Sixth Circuit attending, and a large number of attorneys from around the circuit.   The cancellation stems from recent budget cutbacks and spending concerns that result from Congress’s decision to cut the judiciary’s budget in the current fiscal year, ending this month.  In light of these budget cuts, the Court appears cognizant of possible perception issues related to the holding of the judicial conference against the backdrop of sequestration (although these are not lavish affairs – the last one was held at a Hyatt in Lexington).  Other tangible impacts of sequestration and other budgetary constraints are also being noticed elsewhere at the Circuit, including a reduction in the compensation rate for Criminal Justice Act-appointed counsel.  As reflected on the Sixth Circuit’s website, the reduction will take place for cases handled between September 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, with the reduction being $15 per hour.  Whatever one thinks of the federal budget, deficit, and debt, the judiciary represents a tiny fraction of federal spending (far less than one percent).  Hopefully, Congress will discharge its constitutional obligation to fully fund the separate and co-equal branch of government responsible for ensuring the administration of justice.