The Docket

Justices to Examine Judge Pay

If Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is confirmed, her potential first case would hit a little close to home: examining the pay for federal judges. A coalition of judges is seeking to overturn a Congressional act that limited automatic cost-of-living increases for federal judges. While this may not seem like a very sexy case, it is controversial since it is unconstitutional to diminish the pay of a federal judge while he or she is in office. Cases involving judges’ pay have long been a bitter topic between politicians and judges—even the Declaration of Independence claimed the British denied fair pay for judges. Among the plaintiffs are three appointees of President Bill Clinton.