Thursday, July 7, 2011

Judges Quitting Over Pay (in New York)

Via the New York Times:
... across the country — and in New York, more than most places — being a judge has in recent years come with one big negative: the salary. New York judges have not had a raise in 12 years, making the state one of the more extreme examples of a growing pay gap nationally between judges and other professionals, including partners at top law firms, who can earn 10 times the salary of the judge before whom they are arguing a case.

... judges are leaving the bench in relatively large numbers — not to retire, but to return to being practicing lawyers. Turnover in New York has increased rapidly in the last few years: nearly 1 in 10 judges are now leaving annually, a new study shows.
...the state’s Office of Court Administration studied judicial attrition [and] found that in 1999, 48 of the 1,300 state judges left their positions. Last year, 110 judges left, with the number of departures increasing sharply over the last five years.

Despite these problems, as US Chief Justice John Roberts found out when he spoke out publicly about the issue some years ago, there is virtually no public or political support for raising judicial pay.