Norton Introduces Juror Pay Act to Raise Pay of D.C. Superior Court Jurors to Match Pay for Federal Jurors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced her District of Columbia Juror Pay Parity Act, which would raise the pay of D.C. Superior Court jurors to match that of federal jurors.
“The importance of jurors to our system of laws is driven home by the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd that is currently in progress,” said Norton. “Our local courts preside over critical matters affecting our residents and our city and deserve pay consistent with this important civic duty.”
Norton’s introductory statement as prepared for delivery is below.
Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Introduction of
the District of Columbia Juror Pay Parity Act
April 8, 2021
Today, I introduce the District of Columbia Juror Pay Parity Act, which would require that D.C. Superior Court jurors receive the same pay as federal jurors. The importance of jurors to our system of law is driven home by the current trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.
Currently, Superior Court jurors are paid $40 per day, and, under the Home Rule Act, only the D.C. courts and Congress have the authority to increase Superior Court juror pay. In the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress increased federal juror pay to $50 per day, the first increase to federal juror pay in 28 years. My bill would give Superior Court jurors the same pay.
Under the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33), Congress took responsibility for paying for the D.C. courts and other state-like functions provided by D.C. The D.C. courts, however, have always been under the control of Congress, even when they were funded by the District. The Home Rule Act prohibits the District government from enacting any law relating to Title 11 of the D.C. Code. Title 11 provides that the Board of Judges of the Superior Court sets juror pay, but that the pay may not exceed the pay of federal jurors. Therefore, this bill, or action by the D.C. courts, is necessary to increase Superior Court juror pay.
I urge my colleagues to support this bill.