Judges

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Precedent

Judge Thapar's dissent in an abortion case is very strong about how bad Roe is, but it is an example of how a judge can condemn a Supreme Court ruling while following it.


Bad Judges


Judges Showing Blatant Partisanship

https://ballotpedia.org/Federal_judges_on_senior_status Useful chart. It does seem that judges retired when Clinton and Obama were in office, especially right after they won elections, but not when George W. Bush was in office, or in the year after Trump took office. Democrat-favoring judges are political, but not Republican-favoring ones. It would be interesting to see how many of the Democrat-favoring judges were appointed by Republican presidents.


What has shocked me now is how blatantly political these judges are. I can understand choosing to retire when you think there is a President who will choose a successor you think will be good. That is what has been common. What is shocking is if a judge does it blatantly. Suppose a judge said, “Great, I’ve been waiting years to retire because I’m really too old to do a good job, but I’ve been waiting for a Democrat to be President because I’m a Democrat.” That, in effect, is what these judges have done. They should have waited a decent amount of time before stepping down. Appearances do matter.

Judicial Independence

"Immigration Judges Forbidden to Use the Word ‘Alien’", 2021. And it's the word in the statute they're ruling on!

“directs EOIR staff, including adjudicators, to use language that is ‘consistent with our character as a Nation of opportunity and of welcome.’” [Internal brackets omitted.]