Did Ending the Filibuster of Judicial Appointments Alter the Behavior of Lower-Court Judges?

Interesting speculation about that in this Axios story:

What they’re saying: J. Michael Luttig, a former U.S. Court of Appeals judge appointed by the late President George H.W. Bush, told Axios: “Ideally, federal judges would make few, if any, extrajudicial comments in their opinions — and none in their public speeches and remarks.”

  • “The former is exceedingly difficult to honor in practice over a long period of service on the bench, but every attempt should be made,” he said.

Sarah Isgur, a former Trump administration Justice Department senior official and, now, co-host of the legal podcast Advisory Opinions, said the partisan split in the Senate is propelling the change in judicial temperament.

  • “Once the filibuster was gone for the lower-court judges, what you see is that people no longer need to get votes from the opposing party, but they need to be the most extreme version of their own party,” she told Axios.
  • “And, so, with some of the Trump appointed judges, there is a lot more willingness to signal to the right-flank of the party. For those who want to be Supreme Court justices, or want to be in the running for that sort of influence, they don’t need to signal to the left.”
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