Judges Timing Senior Status

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MarkmanPapers

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Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by MarkmanPapers » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:41 pm

There's been some reporting in the LA Times (specific to the 9th Circuit) and now in Buzzfeed (nationally) about whether judges are considering timing senior status based on both the result of the presidential election, with Biden's win, and the upcoming question of Senate control, to be decided by the two GA races. To the extent this shift might affect prospects for clerkship applicants, seems like something to talk about in this forum.

LAT report: https://www.latimes.com/california/stor ... rump-biden
Buzzfeed report: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zo ... den-courts

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:36 pm

Some of these stories also mention mysterious "lists" of potential nominees floating around that groups like ACS and AFJ have been sending the transition team. It appears those lists are being kept under lock and key. As a 3L still on the clerkship market I'm really itching to see them. Oh well, I guess we'll find out in due time when a wave of Clinton district court judges go senior.

MarkmanPapers

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by MarkmanPapers » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:13 pm

Now that we have the political results, more informed grist for the speculation mill:

https://vettingroom.org/2021/01/08/here ... tirements/

Iowahawk

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Iowahawk » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:31 pm

There was a recent post from Law360 on the rumor mill on likely new nominees as well. There are some pretty safe bets out there, mostly elevations of young/impressive/diverse judges in states almost guaranteed to have retirements—Ketanji Brown Jackson to CADC, Andrea Wood to CA7, Leondra Kruger (assuming she isn’t SG) and Richard Boulware to CA9, Leslie Abrams Gardner to CA11, etc.

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:47 pm

It'll be very interesting in the coming weeks to watch not only the senior status announcements, but also who else besides Merrick Garland the Biden team decides to give the Goldberg treatment. Rumor has it Diane Wood is a top contender for SG. I was quite surprised to learn this, because she's relatively young for a Clinton appointee at 70 and, based on my personal interactions with her, is still razor-sharp and full of energy; it seems a little early in her career to give up a lifetime appointment for a swan-song, though I suppose she could go back to full-time academia after 4-8 years, or, you know, retire at an age that sounds reasonable to non-judges. But I'm sure the Biden folks and Durbin are very into the prospect of having two Illinois vacancies on CA7 in 2021.

I wonder if this is a maneuver Biden will try with judges more often than we've seen in recent years. It didn't seem to work in the Obama years, when some in the administration tried to ship Stephen Breyer off to France. But could convince some senior-eligible or nearly-senior-eligible judges who are reluctant to go senior. A consideration that's only really pertinent to folks on this forum, however--taking an administration job, unlike going senior, does not increase the total number of clerkships available.

Edit: Also for what it's worth I think Andrea Wood would be a shoo-in for elevation if Diane Wood left the bench, as a former Diane Wood clerk herself.

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Iowahawk

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Iowahawk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:47 pm
It'll be very interesting in the coming weeks to watch not only the senior status announcements, but also who else besides Merrick Garland the Biden team decides to give the Goldberg treatment. Rumor has it Diane Wood is a top contender for SG. I was quite surprised to learn this, because she's relatively young for a Clinton appointee at 70 and, based on my personal interactions with her, is still razor-sharp and full of energy; it seems a little early in her career to give up a lifetime appointment for a swan-song, though I suppose she could go back to full-time academia after 4-8 years, or, you know, retire at an age that sounds reasonable to non-judges. But I'm sure the Biden folks and Durbin are very into the prospect of having two Illinois vacancies on CA7 in 2021.

I wonder if this is a maneuver Biden will try with judges more often than we've seen in recent years. It didn't seem to work in the Obama years, when some in the administration tried to ship Stephen Breyer off to France. But could convince some senior-eligible or nearly-senior-eligible judges who are reluctant to go senior. A consideration that's only really pertinent to folks on this forum, however--taking an administration job, unlike going senior, does not increase the total number of clerkships available.

Edit: Also for what it's worth I think Andrea Wood would be a shoo-in for elevation if Diane Wood left the bench, as a former Diane Wood clerk herself.
There will probably be two Illinois seats regardless. Ilana Rovner is 82 and very liberal despite that she's a Bush appointee. It's probably even odds for Gary Feinerman to take whatever the second seat is.

Pennoyer v. Meh

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Pennoyer v. Meh » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:01 pm

We've got our first senior status of the administration--Judge Roberts of the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Chokenhauer » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:11 am

Pennoyer v. Meh wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:01 pm
We've got our first senior status of the administration--Judge Roberts of the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.
Interesting. I wonder who else will follow. It'll also be interesting to see the ramifications of McConnell's crusade to turn judicial confirmations into a political football. Granted, it was always partisan, but I wonder how partisan lower court nominations will be and if the Democratic party/voters will take a vested interest in having young, progressive judges confirmed in the same way that the Republican party/voters sought out young conservatives for COA and even D.Cts.

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:12 pm

With Katzmann announcing senior status, Garland's nomination pending, and the possibility of Wood taking the SG job, I do wonder how long it'll take to start seeing some confirmations. I'm a 3L who's reasonably well positioned to get snatched up by new judges, so thinking about timing of graduation/starting my post-grad job in the fall. It looks like Trump didn't even nominate his first judge until late March or get practically anyone confirmed until May of his first year. And Biden's still got his cabinet to confirm, not to mention the potential logjam in the Senate with the impeachment trial. Anyone have a sense of how long it might take to get the ball rolling on nominations?

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Re: Judges Timing Senior Status

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:51 pm

Amul Thapar was Trump's first circuit appointment (and friends with McConnell, so apparently a high priority). He was nominated in March, 2017 and confirmed in May. The next twenty or so nominees didn't come until May and June of that year.

I think it's reasonable to think that we have at least a couple months between now and the first batch of nominees, but then again Trump and McConnell had a SCOTUS vacancy to keep them busy right away and Biden does not so it could be sooner.

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