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Administrative Agencies: Judicial Conference of the United States, 1948-present

Originally Conference of Senior Circuit Judges, 1922-1948

First established in 1922 as the Conference of Senior Circuit Judges, this group of judges from the federal appellate courts throughout the nation constituted the first national organization of federal judges. With the Chief Justice presiding, the senior judges (now known as chief judges) of each circuit court of appeals gathered to report on the judicial business of the federal courts and to advise Congress on possible improvements in judicial administration. Although its role was largely advisory until the Administrative Office was established in 1939, the conference became an important means of communicating the needs of the judiciary to the Congress and the members of the executive branch involved in the administration of the courts. The Judicial Code of 1948 changed the name of the conference to the Judicial Conference of the United States and other laws expanded membership to include district judges and the chief judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade. The Judicial Conference today serves as the national policy-making body for the federal courts.