Judicial pay case gets ABA support

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The American Bar Association wants the Supreme Court of the United States to take a case that asks whether congressional denial of cost-of-living adjustments for federal judges compromises judicial independence and violates the Constitution.

Eight current or former federal judges from District and Circuit levels are embroiled in litigation that’s gone as high as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which challenges the lawmakers’ refusal to adjust salaries six times during the past 20 years – even though the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 stipulated that Congress would have to authorize these “non-discretionary” automatic annual COLAs for federal judges and other senior officials.

The judges initially filed suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in January 2009, but the court dismissed that complaint, Peter H. Beer, et al. v. U.S., No. 09-1395, in October. The judges appealed and filed for a ruling en banc with the Federal Circuit, but the appellate court declined in January. The judges filed a writ for certiorari in May.

In a brief filed June 17, the ABA contends that the justices’ review is warranted because the continued diminution of judicial salaries threatens the judiciary’s independence and quality of work. Judges across the nation have advocated for salary increases for the federal judiciary, including those from Indiana and members of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Chief Justice John Roberts has called for Congress to raise judges’ salaries by as much as 24 percent, and he has said that low salaries hurt the courts’ ability to hire and retain qualified judges.

Rehearing of "Judicial COLA loses carbonation again" IL Dec. 24, 2008-Jan. 6, 2009


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.