Maine’s supreme court justices are planning to do their part to ease a backlog of criminal cases.

A spokeswoman says the seven justices are going to serve as trial court judges this spring to try to put a dent in the backlog.

Mary Ann Lynch, spokeswoman for the Maine court system, says justices have done the same thing at least once in the past. She says the drug epidemic in Maine is playing a role in the backlog. She says drug and alcohol abuse play a role in many crimes.

The governor this month released judicial nominations to fill remaining vacancies. Filling those judicial posts will also help keep cases moving forward.