Lindsey Graham Tells Eligible Judges to Take Senior Status So Trump Can ‘Change the Judiciary for Several Generations’ – By Jerry LambeMay (Law and Crime) / May 28 2020
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made a public plea to senior citizens on the federal judiciary, encouraging eligible federal judges to take senior status and allow President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans to install more young, conservative-minded jurists on the bench for a lifetime.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the comments during a Thursday morning interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Hewitt asked Graham if he knew of any federal judges who were eligible to assume “senior status,” a type of semi-retirement available to judges over age 65 who continue to preside over cases, albeit with a reduced workload. A National Review article from 2017 (“A Better Way to Give Trump More Judgeships to Fill”) helpfully explained why this matters:
The bottom line is that senior judges who maintain a minimum caseload can keep — in addition to their guaranteed salary — their chambers, staff, and law clerks indefinitely. But once a judge takes senior status, the president can nominate, and the Senate can confirm, a replacement. Further, it is a fact of life that judges appointed by Democratic presidents are more likely to take senior status when a Democrat is in the White House, while judges appointed by Republican presidents are more likely to take senior status when a Republican is in the White House. Like Supreme Court justices, lower-court judges can and do schedule their retirements around elections. Given this stark reality, my analysis will focus on the nominees of Republican presidents.