Chief justice urges pay raise for judges

Jan. 1, 2007 at 12:28 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The Chief Justice of the United States used his year-end report on the state of U.S. courts to urge a pay raise for federal judges.

Chief Justice John Roberts devoted the entire report to the issue, the Washington Post reported, saying it has "reached the level of a constitutional crisis and threatens to undermine the strength and independence of the federal judiciary."

Roberts noted that his predecessor, the late William Rehnquist, pushed the issue for 20 years. He said several commissions and reports that advocated higher pay for judges have gone nowhere in Congress.

"This is usually the point at which many will put down the annual report and return to the Rose Bowl, but bear with me," Roberts wrote.

Roberts said U.S. workers' wages have increased nearly 18 percent in real terms since 1969, while federal judicial pay has declined nearly 24 percent.

Congress has not acted on judicial pay for 2007, so salaries will remain at 2006 levels for now, the Post said.

Roberts will continue to draw $212,100 a year, and associate Supreme Court justices will collect $203,000. Appeals court judges will be paid $175,100 and federal district judges will make $165,200.

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