This is an issue near and dear to Judge Fay's heart, as we all know:
Even though I tweaked the Judge's speech on this at the recent Bench & Bar conference, in all seriousness it is a no-brainer and is long long long overdue.
House members voted Wednesday for a $410 billion spending plan to keep the federal government running through September, and the plan includes a cost-of-living adjustment for the federal judiciary for the 2009 calendar year. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the proposal would give judges a 2.8 percent increase retroactive to January.
Though it wouldn't bring judges close to the salaries of their friends in private practice or in deanships at top law schools, it would end their status as the only federal employees who did not get a cost-of-living adjustment this year. They have gone without such an increase in seven of the last 14 years, and Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. has made the issue a priority.
The spending plan now heads to the Senate, which has been less receptive to arguments for higher judicial pay and could amend the plan. In October, senators removed plans for the judiciary's 2009 cost-of-living adjustment from auto-bailout legislation passed by the House.