Should retired judges be beyond the reach of the courts?

Source: OTHERWISE: Should retired judges be beyond the reach of the courts?

by George W. Conk

Alex Kozinski, Brett Kavanaugh, and Maryanne Trump Barry have all been relieved of the burden of inquiries into their conduct under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 351–364, which empowers the federal judiciary “to determine whether a covered judge has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts or is unable to discharge the duties of office because of mental or physical disability.”

The three have in common that their resignations from the bench assertedly deprived the courts of jurisdiction because a judge is no longer a judge when he or she retires (Kozinski and Trump Barry) or steps up to the United States Supreme Court (Kavanaugh).  In each circumstance, according to the Second Circuit Judicial Council (in the Kozinski case) the “Act is concerned with individuals whocurrently exercise the powers of the office of federal judge”.  Because he or she “can no longer perform any judicial duties, he does not fall within the scope of persons who can be investigated under the Act” making the proceedings “unnecessary”.  Yet the two Circuit Judges collect pensions at full salary for life [28 U.S.C. 371(a)] and, if willing, may be “assigned judicial duties”. [28 U.S.C. 294] The now Associate Justice draws a salary as a member of the highest court and very much “performs judicial duties”. KEEP READING


OTHERWISE: ABA: Immigration Courts face existential crisis – system “irredeemably ” dysfunctional

OTHERWISE: ABA: Immigration Courts face existential crisis – system “irredeemably ” dysfunctional

from the ABA Commission on Immigration – 2019 report (full text linked above):

The immigration courts are facing an existential crisis. The current system is irredeemably dysfunctional and on the brink of collapse, and the only way to resolve the serious systemic issues within the immigration court system is through transferring the immigration court functions to a newly-created Article I court. This approach is the best and most practical way to ensure due process and insulate the courts from the capriciousness of the political environment. It is further our view that the public’s faith in the immigration court system will be restored only when the immigration courts are assured independence and the fundamental elements of due process are met.