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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Re: Judicial Pay



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I don’t disagree with anything Jonathan Adler says on this subject—though federal judicial salaries never will and never should compete with the highest private sector or even academic earnings in the legal profession. Some folks have taken me as opposed to judicial pay hikes per se (e.g., Dahlia Lithwick in Slate), but I’m not. My original point was and is that Chief Justice Roberts made a really godawful argument for pay increases, and forfeited a lot of credibility when he claimed there was a “constitutional crisis” as a consequence of low judicial pay. I’d be fine with modest pay increases (for Congress and the executive too, not just judges), and I think regional variation or housing allowances in high-cost regions would be okay too. But Roberts didn’t come within shouting distance of a persuasive argument that there is some critical exodus from the federal bench, or a pervasive difficulty getting good people to serve.


Tags: Franck


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