[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/31/scotus.pay/art.john.roberts.gi.jpg caption="Chief Justice John Roberts says federal judges were denied cost-of-living allowances."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts renewed his call for higher judicial pay on Wednesday, warning of long-term damage to the fabric of the courts.
In his annual year-end report, Roberts noted judges' salaries have declined over the past two decades when measured against inflation, causing many judges to leave the bench for more lucrative jobs in the private sector.
Roberts, 53, and other judges have said a crisis in the administration of justice could result if the bench cannot attract "judges who are the best of the best."
"I must renew the judiciary's modest petition: Simply provide cost-of-living increases that have been unfairly denied," wrote Roberts. "We have done our part - it is long past time for Congress to do its."