50 More Federal Judges

Supreme_Court_Front_Dusk.jpgLaw.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.

Image Source: WikiCommons

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6 Responses

  1. anon says:

    Like many things, Cass Sunstein has done this before you even thought to do it.

  2. anon says:

    Like many things, Cass Sunstein has done this before you even thought to do it.

  3. Deven says:

    Hmm, Sunstein wrote about an article on Law.com that just came out? Possible. The man is amazing if nothing else for the volume of writing. He maybe noted that this act exists and said something beyond this post also possible. OR maybe you mean to say that he has written about the ideas in the last part of the post. As I said maybe someone has done this work. Now if in your humble estimation all should know everything Prof. Sunstein has written, that is a rather odd and untenable position to take. Given the way the post is written (i.e., an invitation to do more with a nod that there has likelyu been work on the topic), perhaps you’d care to share with everyone your deep knowledge of Prof. Sunstein’s work and how it addresses the point.

  4. anon says:

    Haha, I apologize, Deven, if I came across as teasing you. I was merely praising Cass for always having interesting things to talk about, and always being one step of everyone else.

    The part I was referring to is the question of how often judges adhere to party lines, and the piece I’m thinking of is this one:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=442480

    This is not the be all and end all in this area, but it’s definitely along these lines, and it’s worth a read.

    The first part of your post was useful and informative. Thank you!

  5. Deven says:

    Fair enough. And most importantly thanks (and I truly mean that) for the link and feedback. It makes the blogging game worth playing.

    Have great July 4th weekend.

    Best

    Deven

  6. Sean M. says:

    Speaking as a (now) 2L, I, for one, welcome the prospect of 36 new Court of Appeals clerkships.