About

You're viewing one of 40,737 blog entries. Click here to read some more.

Other views

Recent Comments
Comments By...
Last 100 Entries
Read Chronologically
Random Entry
Random Image
View by Category
Mobile Edition


Ad

Advertise Here



Tuesday, 02 January, 2007

A Looming Constitutional Crisis?
(with comments)

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse: Low pay threatens judiciary, Roberts warns.

Pay for federal judges is so inadequate that it threatens to undermine the judiciary's independence, Chief Justice John Roberts says in a year-end report critical of Congress.

Roberts said the judiciary will not properly serve its constitutional role if it is restricted to people so wealthy that they can afford to be indifferent to the level of judicial compensation, or to people for whom the judicial salary represents a pay increase.

Issuing an eight-page message devoted exclusively to salaries, Roberts says the 678 full-time U.S. District Court judges, the backbone of the federal judiciary, are paid about half that of deans and senior law professors at top schools.

How much do they make?

Federal district court judges are paid $165,200 annually; appeals court judges make $175,100; associate justices of the Supreme Court earn $203,000; the chief justice gets $212,100.

Thirty-eight judges have left the federal bench in the past six years and 17 in the past two years.

The article doesn't say how many of those left because the pay was too low.

The issue of pay, says Roberts, "has now reached the level of a constitutional crisis."


Permalink | Posted in General |
  1. By J-W #656. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:19am:
    "Inadequate pay"? Have these judges forgotten they're civil servants?
  2. By Indigo Kid. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:35am:
    Paying a man more has never made him smarter, more productive or capable of making sane choices.

    Notice how the Supreme Court totaly ignored the Constitution in order to elect George Bush president. Read the Constitution and find the portion of what to do if there is no clear winner in the election or it is delayed.
  3. By KS. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:49am:
    If the judges want automatic annual pay increases, they should run for Congress.
  4. By Snag. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:55am:
    The biggest problem with the Judiciary in most Western societies is that they are effectively 'above the Law'. When was the last time you heard of a Judge being brought to account, or even sued, for a wrong decision ?
  5. By major_danny. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @10:17am:
    Give 'em seed, a plow, and a field.
    Let's see how much they can produce!
    ...Poolll POT! ...Poolll POT!

    (Another holiday in Cambodia)
  6. By TheyForgotTheirJob. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @10:28am:
    Why don't they just form a judical action committe (JAC) to solicit and collect contributions, just like members of Congress do with their political action committees (PACs)? That should bring in all the money they ever need.
  7. By Candidus. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @10:51am:
    Notice how the Supreme Court totaly ignored the Constitution in order to elect George Bush president. Read the Constitution and find the portion of what to do if there is no clear winner in the election or it is delayed.

    "I would look for justices of the Supreme Court who understand that our Constitution is a living and breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people." — Presidential candidate Al Gore

    Tough darts for the Foul-Weather Federalists. By 2000, it was a little too late for them to piss and moan about shady applications of the Equal Protection Clause.
  8. By wally the duck. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @11:33am:
    That seems like enough money to me. If they think not, they should marry well.
  9. By Woody. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @11:49am:
    That's what happens when the Democrats start talking about raising the minimum wage in the first 100 hours. Everyone else will want a raise, too.
  10. By J-Walk. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @12:42pm:
    And what about the bribery income? Think of the bribery income! Tax-free bribery income.
  11. By another larry. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @12:43pm:
    $12,000 a year compared to $165,000 ! go wooody
  12. By Dr. Spammy. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @01:28pm:
    We have the best judges that money can buy.
  13. By Debb. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @02:12pm:
    I'd happily learn to live on $165,200. Where do I sign up?
  14. By Mikey. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @03:52pm:
    Why would anyone take on such an important, and demanding job for such a small salary? Perks?
  15. By Mary. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @05:08pm:
    This is one of the most disgusting things I've read in awhile. Time to take the robes away from these guys and put them to work in a real job, at a real wage, punching a clock, 2 weeks vacation a year, 25% of their check going for health insurance, working for Peter Principle in a company that's hanging on by a thread, putting their own job into jeopardy on a daily basis, etc.

    Constitutional crisis, indeed. If he can't live on that kind of money, let him look for a better paying job - that's what everyone else has to do when they need a better income.

    Pompous ass.
  16. By Moon. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @05:41pm:
    Whining about salaries didn't start until the GOP got control of the Supreme Court.

    Resign, already.
  17. By Moon. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @05:43pm:
    J-Walk, if you don't pay taxes on your bribery income, the IRS will get after you! That's a lot worse than the FBI being after you!
  18. By Moon. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @05:44pm:
    Woody is right. We can afford to give the Supreme Court a $1.50/hr raise.
  19. By Moon. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @05:48pm:
    I mean, when the NeoCons are complaining about paying taxes, it's always "I pay $50,000 in taxes", not "I pay 3% in taxes". So now they can't ask for a 25% income raise. They have to get the actual dollar raise that the minimum wage earners get - $1.50/hr.
  20. By Pancho. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @05:51pm:
    Wow! Hold on, ya guys. I will grant that $165k is a lot of money, but have you checked how much the average lawyer makes? From the US Department of Labor, the average run 'o the mill lawyer, makes $94,930. And the top 25 percentile makes more than $143,620.

    Here we are talking about what should be the best of the best of the best.

    It is a fact that to recruit these guys we must pay them a wage competitive with industry and academia. And maybe, just maybe, if we had been able to attract more talent, we would never have gone into Iraq. That's $350B in savings for one decision they made way back in 2000. So, c'mon, don't pinch pennies with this kinda thing. Pay them well.
  21. By Candidus. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @06:21pm:
    Whining about salaries didn't start until the GOP got control of the Supreme Court.

    They must love you at Party headquarters. Remember: If you polish enough apples, Howard Dean may even allow you to float off the floor like a soap bubble.
  22. By charlie. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @06:53pm:
  23. By Moon. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @08:29pm:
    Hey, maybe they should quit and become law clerks at a big Washington firm!

    Here's a clue. Their job isn't about the money. Is the President whining? The VP?

    Candidus, you've been sucking up to Bush for the last 6 years, right? Just a guess.
  24. By biff. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:39pm:
    If I'm not mistaken, their "work schedule" is about the same as that of Congress. And we all know how much they "work".

    This country is completely backasswards. The harder your job the less you make.

    A soldier in Iraq dies on the job for what, $30K if they're lucky, and some judge sits on his ass all day for $200K.

    That just ain't right.
  25. By biff. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:43pm:
    P.S.

    I was in the Air Force many years ago.

    The most I ever made in a year was less than $5K. (E4 over 4)
  26. By Dee. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:45pm:
    *************************************************

    If they want to make as much money as lawyers they should return to being lawyers. There's no rule that says judges have to make more than lawyers.

    If money is their motivation they should become stock brokers and work on Wall Street.

    You don't have to be independently wealthy to be honest.

    **************************************************
  27. By Candidus. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @09:46pm:
    Candidus, you’ve been sucking up to Bush for the last 6 years, right? Just a guess.

    "Just a guess?"

    Don't be coy. You know it to be true with all the metaphysical certitude your weltbild permits.
  28. By Moon. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @10:08pm:
    I gotta admit, Candidus, it was an EDUCATED guess, after a personal attack post like this:
    They must love you at Party headquarters. Remember: If you polish enough apples, Howard Dean may even allow you to float off the floor like a soap bubble.

    You Bush supporters are GOOD at the personal attacks.
  29. By Candidus. Comment posted 02-Jan-2007 @11:15pm:
    I gotta admit, Candidus, it was an EDUCATED guess...

    Stop it! Any more and I'm going to start suspecting you of being a spoof.
  30. By Pancho. Comment posted 03-Jan-2007 @04:45am:
    This country is completely backasswards. The harder your job the less you make.

    biff, it's not about our country, its politics, your idea of "fairness", or how "hard" you work. Pay for services increases with scarcity of skills, i.e., the more folks that can do your job, the less you'll be paid.

    The only thing that I see wrong in this thread is your and others' implicit entitlement.
  31. By Pancho. Comment posted 03-Jan-2007 @04:53am:
    Dee:If money is their motivation they should become stock brokers and work on Wall Street.

    Dead on. Many are, and will not consider a career in public service (even when money is not their only motivation). That is the point that Roberts is making.
  32. By biff. Comment posted 03-Jan-2007 @01:03pm:
    Pay for services increases with scarcity of skills

    Getting ones head blown off by a mortar round is a pretty scarce "skill".

    So, someone that is willing to die for their country is only worth $30k while some judge that sits on his ass all day is worth $200k?

    That just ain't right!
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.