U.S. Judiciary: Columnist Opposes CJ John Roberts’ Judicial Pay Raise Proposal

Law professor Scott Baker, in a Los Angeles Times column, disagrees with the need for a pay raise for the federal judiciary, as proposed by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Professor Baker provided three reasons for his opposition:

  • no evidence that higher pay produces better judges,
  • there is no reason to believe that the highest paid attorneys would be the best judges, and
  • there is no marked difference in judicial behavior between judges with a government service background and judges from corporate law firms

Professor Baker’s column makes excellent points, especially now as he notices the economic pressure facing the nation.

In a time of strained budgets, both Democrats and Republicans need to make hard choices on spending priorities. Federal judges earn six figures. Why choose to pay judges more — as opposed to equally deserving, lesser-paid federal employees such as park rangers, members of the military or FBI agents — if it ultimately makes no difference to how well the judges perform their jobs?

I, too, oppose exorbitant pay raises for judges. I feel that if judges make too much more, they will not be able to relate to the lives of the middle class litigants that may appear before them. Go to the federal judiciary tag in the right column for my posts on the subject of the judicial pay raise proposal.