50 More Federal Judges
Law.com reports that under the Federal Judgeship Act of 2008 there would be 50 new federal judges (about 12 appellate and the rest district). What does this mean? More clerkships! Well there is a little more going on here. For example, if the bill passes, “none of the appointments could be made until the day after a new president takes office.” As the article points out there are around 45 spots open right now so it could be that close to 100 judgeships ride on this election. Mariano Cuellar apparently thinks this bill has only about a ten percent chance of passing in part because Congress has only a couple months left to do so.
If it does pass, expect the already heated exchanges and accusations about each party’s attempt to shape the country through the judiciary to go into a new phase of aggressiveness. So here is a gift research idea (unless of course someone has done this work). How often do judges adhere to party lines after they become Article III judges? The vetting process seems of late to be more intense about trying to find those who will step in line with a party doctrine. And it appears, stress appears, that many judges stick with those views. Whether that is true and really why that is so are two questions that merit some investigation. Concern about finding cushy jobs after being judge, moving up in the court system, or just good old fashioned public pressure may be in play. Yet, if a judge really believes that he or she is following the dictates of justice, one might think that no matter what party the judge is in, a significant number of decisions would deviate from party lines; for party lines and justice are not coextensive.
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