January 2nd, 2007

The Best Judges Money Can Buy?

Sounds kinda like a line from a bad gangster movie. Chief Justice Roberts is warning that “Pay for federal judges is so inadequate that it threatens to undermine the judiciary’s independence.”

“Inadequate compensation directly threatens the viability of life tenure, and if tenure in office is made uncertain, the strength and independence judges need to uphold the rule of law — even when it is unpopular to do so — will be seriously eroded,” Roberts wrote.

According to records, 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. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in getting a fair shake for your bucks, but when compared to private practice, these salaries are shameful! The Republicans blocke Dem efforts to address this, and for what reason other than to undermine the courts “superiority”, so to speak?

Legislation languished in Congress in 2006 that would have provided a 16 percent increase in federal judges’ salaries. The bill was introduced by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and John Kerry of Massachusetts.

OK, so I am usually for the litle guy, keep it simple, play it down etc.,…BUT, this is our freakin’ Constitution we’re talking about here, I want some people who make at least as much as your Jr. College ambulance chasers on my side!

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Posted in DailyFeatured



14 Comment(s)

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  1. Froenx Says :

    165k a year is too low?

    Exactly what kind of lifestyles are these judges leading?
     


  2. tos Says :

    Sounds like the salary of a Union worker at least the four I met this year.

    One makes 250,000 for riding a construction elevator all day,one makes 175,000.00 for cleaning up debris at a construction sit,one makes 150,000.00 at a State Hospital as an aid and the other is a Shrink at at state hospital and makes 350,000.00.

    Imagine what a county or state judge makes that has a union job? I’ll bet more than a federal judge.

     


  3. Paul Jordan Says :

    Froenx,

    Are you really sure you want to go bargain hunting when it comes to the very men and women who actually decide this nation’s laws? Perhaps you would rather they supplement their income with sponsorships, endorsements, and side deals like a pro-sports player?

    Tos,

    get a life, it is an Urban Legend that an elevator operator makes a quarter mil a year. I appreciate your zest, but hey…Keep it real.


  4. Dusty Says :

    First off..I am not a supporter of Life Tenure. I think its ridiculous for a judge to have that type of job security. Manditory retirement ages have been ruled as discriminatory I think. Someone correct me if I am wrong on that.

    I can’t put a  price on justice. When I read this article over the weekend, I pondered it. Putting a monetary value on such a position of importance seems impossible to me, but sadly must be done. Its like the pay of teachers for me…both jobs are incredibly important to us, as a nation.


  5. tos Says :

    “get a life, it is an Urban Legend that an elevator operator makes a quarter mil a year. I appreciate your zest, but hey…Keep it real. “

    I am friends with his wife Paul so you tell her it’s a myth. It’s not what ya know but who ya know.


  6. Froenx Says :

    “Perhaps you would rather they supplement their income with sponsorships, endorsements, and side deals like a pro-sports player?”

    That’s a scary thought.

    I’d rather have them do their job to the best of their ability and drop the whining.  Because if you cannot make it on 165k+ a year, you need to re-assess your lifestyle.


  7. Jersey McJones Says :

    Tos, I’d hate to think that you’re just lying, so let’s just assume that there are a few “union worker(s)” out there that get a kick outta pullin your chain.  I’ve worked with Teamsters and Longshoremen and auto workers - even the Hangbag Union (long story) - among the best paid union workers out there.  They don’t make that much, Tos. 

    JMJ


  8. tos Says :

    Amazing how they live in a 1.7 million dollar home.

    Yo are so concerned about corruption but you wouldn’t even think of going after Union corruption would ya JMJ?


  9. lazy iguana Says :

    Awwww. Lets have a pitty party for the Federal Judges. Lets play the world’s saddest song on the world’s smallest violin. 

    Don’t think judges make enough? Then don’t go to law school! Get a real job and stop being a leach on the ass of society. Do these guys realize that as it is they make more than the majority of the population?

    Ill support a raise for judges when I get a massive raise myself.

    And Tos - maybe I need a new union. Are you sure that elevator worker was not Mexican and telling you his yearly pay in Pesos or something? Heck my dad is a life long member of the IBEW and has worked for Florida Power And Light for 35 years. He only makes over $100k when hurricanes create extra super overtime. I think he needs a new union too.

    Anyone who does not like unions - Ill tell you what. Tell your boss you think unions suck and that you do not need ANYTHING they provide. This means no overtime, no insurance, no sick leave, no vacation leave, no 40 hour week rule, no weekends, no workplace rights, no workplace safety standards, and so on.

    Fall in the hot dog press and become a processed food product.


  10. Demon Princess Says :

    It’s all in the comparisons: in the article, Roberts is said to be comparing judiciary pay with what deans at top law schools make.  First-not ALL members of the judiciary possess that sort of intellectual firepower (& futher, perhaps) nor should they.  Anybody who’s been to law school can tell you that just because a person is a law school dean doesn’t endow them with the requisite “judicial temperament,” which mandates having the patience to deal with real-world issues & the ability to interpret the law FAIRLY with respect to them.  As legal environments go, law schools occupy some very rarified air.  (What I suspect he’s really getting at is the fact that, compared to what lawyers can earn in private practice, even law school salaries pale in comparison.)

    He doesn’t mention what I also find interesting, two other things that have affected the judiciary: what Sandra Day O’Connor & Ruth Bader Ginsberg have observed amounts to a basic ignorance across the board in America of “basic civics” re the roles of the various branches of government (the judiciary being the last resort & link in that chain), as well as the increased threats against the judiciary coming from our friendly foaming-at-the-mouth right wingers & their acolytes.  The question then becomes “how much do you have to pay people to endure death threats from unruly mobs who just want the result they want, & the law be damned?” 

    It could be said that  the notion of civility in America has declined across the board, & nowhere it that sad result more apparent when someone undertakes to provide one answer that’s aimed at laying a heated controversy to rest. 

    Re the question of lifetime tenure-on balance, I think it’s a good thing.  Judges who aren’t fighting for their jobs in elections or some other “mandatory” finite ending have proven, time & again, that eventually they stop seeing every issue through purely ideological lenses, mellow out & get more real.  That’s the upside.  That said, however, there’s no reason to tolerate senile judges, & maybe regular physicals (including mental acuity) should be blended into the mix.


  11. Jersey McJones Says :

    Sorry Tos, but that’s just a pile of bullshit.  I don’t believe you.

    As for “union corruption” - there aren’t many unions left out there anymore, they represent only a fraction of the workforce that they once did, and have become marginalized.   Yeah, they can be a bit old-boy clubby, but that’s true of all institutions.  You’re whole “issue” is a sheepy canard.  Get with the times.  Communism and unions aren’t big issues anymore, Tos.    

    JMJ


  12. Dusty Says :

    DP..on lifetime tenure, I agree with your views on it,as you have presented it here. I have never understood judges having to run for the job ala an election. But mental acuity is important and has to be part of the equation.


  13. The Heretik : Working for Scale Says :

    […] Help a justice near you. Buy a justice and get your own justice today! A Federal judge near you needs your help. No one wants to put a hand out. Or one that might tip the scales of justice, but . . . “Inadequate compensation directly threatens the viability of life tenure, and if tenure in office is made uncertain, the strength and independence judges need to uphold the rule of law — even when it is unpopular to do so — will be seriously eroded,” [Supreme Court Chief Justice John] Roberts wrote. […]


  14. tos Says :

    You don’t have to believe me JMJ I’ve been to their house on Long Island where the property taxes are 18,000 a year.  He got that job through someone who is a big Union guy who is his friend. As did the other guy who makes 175,00 that is also got the job through the same friend. he has a big title but all he does all day is go up and down at the controls of the elevator.



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