Our second post today has David M Cantor, Phoenix DUI Attorney, discussing the issue of ‘Super Old Judges‘. Since Federal Judges have tenure and can serve until they choose to retire one problem arises: old age and senility.
David cites a recent article from Above The Law ‘What Is To Be Done About Super-Old Judges?’ where they discuss Judge Wesley Brown who will be 104 in June. While Judge Brown seems to still have his wits there are multiple stories where other judges are not holding up as well.
The Above the Law piece was written by David Lat who shares one of his experiences while clerking for the Ninth Circut:
On one occasion, a vote on whether to rehear a case en banc emanated not from the judge’s chambers account, but from Mary’s personal email account. Even more embarrassingly, it was written not on behalf of the judge or the chambers, but in the first person: “I vote YES to rehearing en banc.” A law school classmate of mine who was also clerking for the Ninth that year remarked, “I thought only judges did that. When did Mary get her presidential commission?
- About 12 percent of the nation’s 1,200 sitting federal district and circuit judges are 80 years or older;
- Eleven federal judges over the age of 90 are hearing cases—compared with four just 20 years ago;
- The number of octogenarians and nonagenarians on the federal bench has doubled in the past 20 years.
David M Cantor give some anecdotal evidence of a Judge here in Arizona who has shown signs of senility to years. After more issues seemed to appear the Judge is now choosing to retire. However many Judges are staying on longer and longer and if they are senile how can we expect them to decide when they should retire?
One solution proposed by David and many others is to have regular mental health checkups to ensure that our Federal Judges are able to do their job effectively.
What do you think?