Bench Memos

Re: White House Spins Wash Times Reporter in Circles on D.C. Circuit

Another point to add to my original post:

The Washington Times article also gullibly presents law professor Carl Tobias’s claim that sequestration somehow makes it “even more urgent to get the judges confirmed”:

Mr. Tobias said the judicial vacancies — nearly 10 percent of federal judgeships nationwide are open — are being exacerbated by automatic budget cuts, known as “sequestration,” that are trimming other court personnel.

“It’s even more urgent to get the judges confirmed,” Mr. Tobias said. “Sequester takes more resources away from the courts. It just puts more pressure on everybody in the system.”

Tobias has a recent history—since January 2009 or so—of finding that virtually everything provides an urgent reason to confirm more judges. (Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit.) But, unless the funds for judicial salaries and benefits are in a separate pool from the overall funds for judicial administration—and one expert I’ve consulted tells me they’re not—the effect of confirming more judges, and of paying more overall in judicial salaries and benefits, would be to exacerbate the effect that sequestration is having on other court personnel. In other words, Tobias’s argument ought to cut against confirming more judges.

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