Opening with an homage to "Old Ironsides," Chief Justice John Roberts' 2012 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary detailed the state of the federal courts. He emphasized the judiciary's cost-cutting successes and stressed the need for judicial vacancies to be filled in short order to allow the judiciary to continue to work effectively. The chief justice paid special tribute to the Honorable Mark Kravitz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, who passed away last year after a battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.