Tiana Headley writes for Bloomberg Law that, “Most Democratic-appointed appellate judges eligible for a form of semi-retirement are hanging onto their seats as the election year tests President Joe Biden’s goal of reshaping the federal circuit courts.”
“Several of the judges who could take senior status have been eligible for more than a decade. Their reasons for not stepping back are often not public, but they can range from enjoyment of the job to the prestige of serving on a bench one step below the US Supreme Court.
“And sometimes those judges change their mind. The Fourth Circuit’s Robert Bruce King, who’s served more than two decades in Virginia, announced senior status under Biden and later rescinded his plans without giving a reason.
“Progressives are disappointed in the hesitance among the pool of Clinton and Obama-appointed judges.
“Tristin Brown, policy and program director at People’s Parity Project, which advocates for a more diverse judiciary, said some judges may be paying attention ‘particularly to how slowly the White House and senators have moved with some high profile vacancies.’
“Those judges should still ‘understand when it’s time for them to take a step back and step down to allow younger, brilliant legal minds the opportunity to elevate to these positions,’ Brown added.”