Sunday, January 07, 2007

Extremism in the pursuit of a pay raise is no virtue 

At the beginning of the new year, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, laid out in his annual report a clarion call to increase judicial salaries. In his report, the Chief Justice called it a "constitutional crisis" that threatened judicial independence. I recommend reading about it here. I agree with a lot of conservatives that the Chief Justice's just don't stack up given the language he used (see Confirm Them, Bench Memos). While all would agree that pay for judges should be increased to match counterparts in the private sector and academia (listen here to "the smart guys" discuss the issue, I think the Chief Justice's language is overblown and thus counterproductive.

By the way, in the linked to audio clip above, Hugh Hewitt said that putting kids through college has been a huge obstacle for federal judges and thus their retirements and entry into either the academic or private realms. His offhand suggestion of college vouchers might be a workable idea for the problem of judicial compensation.

Finally, I have heard Justice Kennedy and Justice Ginsburg on C-SPAN speak eloquently on this subject in the past. My only question for both of them would be: If you want and desire a pay raise, would you, since you are enamored with international law, prefer your pay increase to be in dollars or euros?

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