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Lecture notes from 1/20

by: Gabriella Hope

Lecture notes from 1/20 PSC 2213

Gabriella Hope
Judicial Politics
Paul Wahlbeck

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About this Document

Judicial processes, federal court system, compensation for judges, impeachment of judges, etc.
Judicial Politics
Paul Wahlbeck
One Day of Notes
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This 4 page One Day of Notes was uploaded by Gabriella Hope on Tuesday January 20, 2015. The One Day of Notes belongs to PSC 2213 at George Washington University taught by Paul Wahlbeck in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 181 views. For similar materials see Judicial Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 01/20/15
Tuesday January 20 2015 Class 120 Judicial Law Pressure Politics Judge Harold Baer Came under fire by Speaker Gingrich and fellow judges Chief Justice Rehnquist commented that impeachment and removal of judges should be reserved for criminal conduct and not judicial acts Chief Judge John Newman wrote about judicial independence do you want federal judges making decisions based on the law or the politics of it Appointment Politics Article II Establishes that federal judges are appointed by the president confirmed by the Senate Presidents have appointed appellate judges of their own party 87 of the time since 1869 926 of district Court judges have been copartisans of the president Lewis Powell dem from VA appointed by Nixon last time someone was appointed who wasn t of the same political party Removal of federal judges Article III Section The judges both of the supreme and inferior Courts shall hold their Offices during good behavior Charges that judges have faced in the midst of impeachment proceedings perjury bribery income tax evasion continuing to practice law while sitting as a judge and influence peddling 49 federal judges have been subject to impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives 15 of these faced impeachment trials in the Senate 8 judges were removed after Senate conviction 3 resigned after impeachment Justice Samuel Chase SCOTUS 17961811 Tuesday January 20 2015 Only SCOTUS justice to be impeached by the Senate William Branch Giles the Republican leaders of the Senate said we want your offices for the purpose of giving them to men who will fill them better Justice William Douglas SCOTUS 19391975 In 1970 an impeachment resolution failed in the House Rep Gerald Ford Rep Michigan thought he violated canon of judicial ethics that a judge s official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety Alcee Hastings District Judge in Florida 19791989 lmpeached by House on 4133 vote Later acquitted of the charges in court Now a member of the House from Florida Compensation for judges Tied to inflation Congressional manipulation of judicial pay Reynolds vs Sims Rep Bob Dole RKansas introduced an amendment to this bill and made the following statement on the floor Whenever thinking about SCOTUS I think of last June 15 1964 and the reapportionment decisions handed down in Reynolds against Sims and the related cases It has been suggested that perhaps Section 2 of this bill Nonpolitical explanations of pay raises Congress can offer pay raises to ameliorate the effects of inflation In the 1970s Congress enacted an interlocking network of federal statutes fixing the compensation of highlevel federal officials including federal judges These statutes provided for annual costofliving adjustments Judges Fight Back United States vs Will 1980 Can Congress rescind a pay raise The Supreme Court ruled No but it can be rescinded if the pay raise hasn t gone into effect Pension Plans Changing Benefits amp Eligibility Tuesday January 20 2015 1869 Judges could retire with full pay at the age of 70 after serving 10 years on the bench 1948 Retired judges benefit from future pay raises by serving in a reduced capacity as a senior judge 1954 Judges could retire after 15 years of service and after turning 65 years of age 1956 Judges may contribute up to 45 of their income to a pension plan with matching funds from the government 1984 Judges could retire when their age and service time equals 80 To get people to retire and create vacancies you want to incentivize them to with appealing retirement plans and benefits Establishment of the federal courts The judicial power in the US shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts shall hold their offices during good behavior and shall at stated times receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office Political manipulation of court structure Jefferson and the federalist bench The Judiciary Act of 1789 established 3 circuit courts of appeal and 13 district courts In 1801 the Federalists created 6 new circuit courts and several district courts President John Adams also appointed more than 200 new judges before leaving office Congress eliminated appellate courts in early 1800s Restored appellate courts in 1855 one judge and 1869 8 judges Dividing the 9th circuit In 2004 the House passed an amendment that would divide the 9th circuit into 3 circuits Rep Mike Simpson Rldaho the amendment s sponsor said This is a significant victory for those of us who strongly believe in the ninth circuit is too large and overburdened to effectively serve the 56 million people now under its jurisdiction Explanations of need to divide 9th circuit ideology Red States vs Blue States Rep Don Young RAlaska said that I am extremely pleased that the amendment to separate Alaska out of the 9th circuit court passed for the first time Changing the Size of a Court Tuesday January 20 2015 Presumably a judicial system could be constitutional as long as there was one chief justice In 1869 there were 9 federal circuit court judges By 2009 this had grown to 179 Number increased immensely over time Explanations for expanding judgeships Caseload The judiciary has called for new positions to handle a heavier caseload Despite efforts to deploy judges with maximum effectiveness current workload needs cannot be met with current resources 2003 Ideological Control In 1977 Jimmy Carter took office with 429 of the appellate bench appointed by Democratic presidents


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