Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the quality of federal judges is suffering, because their are simply too many of them.
Scalia and Justice Stephen Breyer appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to discuss the role of judges.
"Federal judges ain't what they used to be," he said during a rare appearance before the committee. The last appearance before the committee by a justice was four years ago.
Scalia said Congress turns too many cases into federal crimes, creating a need for too many judges.
The federal judiciary should be an elite group, he explained. Scalia has served on the high court for 25 years.
"It's not as elite as it used to be," he said.
There are 91 vacancies among the 874 authorized federal judgeships, including 32 labeled "judicial emergencies" mainly because of a heavy caseload in those districts.