Bench Memos

Re: Senator Leahy Wants Judges

Jonathan:  I’ll just reiterate that the distinction between the nine permanent appellate judgeships and the three “temporary” appellate judgeships in Senator Leahy’s bill is irrelevant from the perspective of President Obama’s appointment power, since Obama would fill the new “temporary” judgeships with lifetime (not temporary) appointments.  Ditto for the 38 permanent district judgeships and the 13 “temporary” district judgeships.  The distinction matters only 10 years or more down the road when the first vacancy occurs on the court with a temporary judgeship:  whoever is president at that time would not be able to fill the vacancy (which means that the number of actual judgeships on that court would then equal the permanent authorized number).


In short, what Leahy’s bill would do is create 12 new appellate judgeships and 51 new district judgeships for Obama to fill. 

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