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Federal courts could stay open for two weeks

Federal courts would keep running more or less as normal for up to two weeks if the government shuts down tonight, according to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.

Non-appropriated fees would last for that period of time, but the courts would face “serious disruption” if a shutdown lasts longer, with individual courts following their own contingency plans to limit operations to essential activities, the office said in a news release.

Those would be “functions necessary and essential to continue the resolution of cases,” the office said. “All other personnel services not related to judicial functions would be suspended.”

Jury trials would continue “as necessary,” but payment to jurors would be deferred as would money for federal defender offices and court-appointed counsel.

Federal legislators and the Obama Administration said this morning that they are continuing to work on a compromise that would keep the government open.

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