Judges are "appointed for life, not for eternity", says Supreme Court


The United States Supreme Court. (Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post)

"Federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity," the Supreme Court concluded Monday, saying that the late judge Stephen Reinhardt's vote should not have been counted in a decision made after his death .

In one In their unsigned opinion, the judges remanded a decision of the US Court of Appeals of the 9th Circuit that found the practice of the County of Fresno Education Office in violation of the Equality Act of 1963 remuneration.

Reinhardt died on March 29, 2018, but the 9th circuit counted his vote afterwards. He was cited as the author of a decision in bench – taken at the majority of hearings – 11 days later.

"Without the vote of Judge Reinhardt, the opinion attributed to him would have been approved by only 5 of the 10 members of the bench investigation group who were still living at the time of the filing of the decision," says the opinion . "Although the five other practicing judges concurred in the judgment, they did so for different reasons. The result is that Judge Reinhardt's vote has made a difference. "

The court ruled that it was illegal.

"This practice has actually allowed a judge who died to exercise US judicial power after his death," the opinion said. "But federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity."

Because the opinion is unsigned, lost for all eternity may be the identity of the justice that wrote this line. But it is not Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who noted that she "approves the judgment".

L & # 39; s case Yovino v. Rizo, return to the 9th circuit.


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