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Judicial Independence

January 16, 1985 | GEORGE RAMOS, Times Staff Writer
A presidential appointee temporarily sitting on the federal court bench may exercise full judicial powers, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The 49-page decision released Monday upheld the 200-year-old practice that allows the President to appoint federal judges while the Senate--which must confirm such appointments--is in recess. In such cases, the Senate votes on the appointments when it resumes meeting.
May 26, 2007 | Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writer
Over the last two years, U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales has appointed more than two dozen individuals as federal immigration judges. The new jurists include a former treasurer of the Louisiana Republican Party, who was a legal advisor to the Bush Florida recount team after the 2000 presidential election. There is also a former GOP congressional aide who had tracked voter fraud issues for the Justice Department, and a Texan appointed by then-Gov. George W.
December 2, 1985
Your coverage of Bird's recent media interviews provided fascinating insight into our chief justice's thought process. It is obvious that Bird simply does not understand the reasons for voter concern over her performance. It is silly to believe that the primary thrust of Bird's opposition comes from long columns of right-wing ideologues, sexists, and sundry bigots marching in knee-jerk harmony to the beat of Drum Major Ed Meese's fight song, "Bye-Bye Birdie." Bird's voting record on tax-relief, busing and death penalty initiatives has revealed a well developed anti-initiative bias, that if allowed to continue, could place the California voter in the same environmental predicament as the California Condor, that of an endangered species.
August 20, 1999 | From a Times Staff Writer
A state watchdog agency dismissed misconduct charges Thursday against Court of Appeal Justice J. Anthony Kline for failing to follow a precedent in a court dissent. "We recognize that appellate jurists deal with legal principles and ideas," said the order by the Commission on Judicial Performance, approved on an 8-1 vote with two abstentions.
July 12, 1987
Of all the ironies sure to be brought out in the debate regarding the appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, perhaps none will be greater than the spectacle of conservatives arguing that Bork's "qualifications" for the position should shield him from political attack. These, of course, are the same people who brought about the political lynching of three California Supreme Court judges because of their alleged positions on a political issue--namely, the death penalty. The concept of "judicial independence" is dead, killed by the right-wing in California last year.
February 8, 2004 | Eugene Volokh, Eugene Volokh teaches constitutional law at the UCLA School of Law.
Congress wants to know what judges are doing. Does this trample on the judges' prerogatives? Specifically, it seeks information on how federal judges are applying sentencing guidelines, a complex set of rules promulgated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. In exceptional cases, judges may depart from the guidelines either downward -- a lower sentence -- or upward -- a stiffer one.
September 27, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
With seven children to care for and a caseload that quadrupled this past year, U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson says he can no longer afford his prestigious lifetime appointment. The 44-year-old, named to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California less than four years ago, is the latest defection in an accelerating nationwide trend toward leaving the federal bench long before retirement age to earn more money in private practice. Vacancies in the federal judiciary are mounting, and too few of the best legal minds are stepping forward to replace them, judicial analysts say. They attribute what they see as a troubling phenomenon to Congress' failure for nearly two decades to pass a significant pay increase for federal judges or to expand their numbers to handle a soaring caseload.
August 17, 1986
Every once in a while The Times prints an editorial that has good intentions but is misguided both in its assumptions and conclusions. Your "Tale of Two Justices" is a good example. In it you advocate Justice Rehnquist's confirmation as chief justice of the United States and California Chief Justice Bird's retention for essentially the same reason--that we should approach the judiciary without an unfounded desire to change the American judicial tradition. Yours is an admirable view, but it is not sound with respect to Chief Justice Bird, for several reasons: 1--You cited Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist to underscore the importance of judicial independence.
April 12, 2005
With respect to the April 10 editorial, "The War on Judges," you are misstating the issue. The issue is not that those who oppose activist judges desire congressional control over the judiciary branch. You are correct in stating that the judiciary should be independent and is a separate and equal part of the three branches of the U.S. government. What people are opposed to are judges who create new legislation from the bench rather than interpreting existing laws or the Constitution. The country belongs to the people.
March 2, 2005 | Doug Bandow, Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
An activist judiciary has joined the legislative and executive branches in making public policy. The influence of judges has been magnified by their relative immunity from political pressure. Although the courts sometimes follow the election returns, in many cases, such as abortion, judicial decisions have short- circuited normal political discourse. That fact alone makes judicial appointments important.
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