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Pay for Judges

Your article advocating higher pay for federal judges was rather one-sided and failed to mention several important points. Perhaps the most important is the retirement system for federal judges. It is the world’s best. He or she can retire at age 65 on full salary after only 15 years service (Title 18 U.S. Code S. 371). By comparison, most other federal employees have to put in 40 years of service to earn the maximum retirement benefit of 80%.

Another item omitted is that several federal judges now serving prison terms would have been entitled to the 51% salary increase. More significantly, the Associated Press recently reported that well over 100 federal senior judges (a senior judge is semi-retired) who have refused to hear any cases since requesting senior status would have been included in the salary increase along with their more active colleagues.

Finally, there is a vast difference between what $89,500 will buy in Los Angeles or Denver than in, say, Boise or Fort Smith. There should be differences in pay levels among judges in small, medium-sized and large cities.

ROBERT PALMER

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Glendale


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