There’s another factor adding to the toll on the federal judiciary: the prospect of lucrative wages in the private sector for federal judges who step down from the bench, yet retain their full salaries from Uncle Sam.
This “trend seemingly on the rise” is reported by the Law Blog of the Wall Street Journal, which in turn credits the Los Angeles Daily Journal newspaper. Former judges who join law firms or become private mediators “can expect to earn at least double their existing salaries while still cashing their full judicial paychecks,” the Daily Journal wrote. That’s because of higher wages in the private sector and because federal judges “are entitled to full pay after retirement after going senior.”
One result is more pressure on the federal judiciary, where senior judges play a vital role, akin to a supplemental work force. For more information about issues involving judicial pay, click on Justice at Stake’s federal judiciary pay page.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times examines broader issues of judicial salaries, and the story of a 44-year-old federal judge in California who quit to support his family, in an article headlined “Judicial Pay Disparity Drains Talent from Federal Bench.” A U.S. District judge is paid $169,300 annually.