I got to thinking about this “Judge Molloy Stepping Down” story a little bit more, and this may not be a Christmas present for outdoor groups and conservatives after all.
Maybe some of our readers and listeners can fill us in a little more, as I am not a lawyer- but I wonder if this move to “senior” status may actually give Judge Molloy more time to wreak havoc on the Western economy.
If I understand it correctly, his move to jump to a senior status would actually allow him to choose which cases he wants to work on. So now, instead of being bogged down with criminal cases- he can spend all his time doing the bidding of the litigation happy environmental groups. Plus, it opens the door for Senator’s Baucus and Tester and President Obama to potentially nominate a similar radical to the US District Judgeship in Missoula before 2012. Keep in mind, both President Obama and Senator Tester could very well lose their seats in 2012- handing over the White House and the Judicial nomination process to Republicans.
Do you think an ideologue like Judge Molloy would allow his seat to go to a moderate or conservatve judge? Remember, when Gen David Petraeus stepped down from CENTCOM to run the war in Afghanistan? It wasn’t so much a stepping down as it was an effort to better gain a handle on the critical war in Afghanistan. In much the same regard, this so-called “stepping down” by Molloy could be an effort to further target his War on the Western economy.
But, as I say- I am simply posing this as a question. I am no lawyer, but certainly would be interested in hearing more from those of you who are.
Here’s what www.courts.gov had regarding the role of “Senior Judges.”
Q: What is a senior judge?
The “Rule of 80” is the commonly used shorthand for the age and service requirement for a judge to assume senior status, as set forth in Title 28 of the US. Code, Section 371(c). Beginning at age 65, a judge may retire at his or her current salary or take senior status after performing 15 years of active service as an Article III judge (65+15 = 80). A sliding scale of increasing age and decreasing service results in eligibility for retirement compensation at age 70 with a minimum of 10 years of service (70+10=80). Senior judges, who essentially provide volunteer service to the courts, typically handle about 15 percent of the federal courts’ workload annually.