Academic journal article Justice System Journal

As You like It: Senior Federal Judges and the Political Economy of Judicial Tenure

Academic journal article Justice System Journal

As You like It: Senior Federal Judges and the Political Economy of Judicial Tenure

Article excerpt

Albert Yoon, "As You Like It: Senior Federal Judges and the Political Economy of Judicial Tenure," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 2 (2005): 495-549.

In this extensive study, drawing on Federal Judicial Center data and interviews with senior judges, Northwestern law professor Albert Yoon explores why federal judges, when eligible, take senior status rather than remaining in active status or retiring from the bench, particularly when the latter would allow them their pension and private-sector salary. The result of their decision to become senior judges is that they "are willing to work essentially for free" (p. 498).

Yoon recaps the history of federal judicial pensions (particularly the 1869 and 1919 statutes, the latter establishing senior status) and shows their effects on length of judicial service. He then explores the extent to which senior judges assist with federal court caseload; their significant contribution is clear (see pp. …

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