Davies on Judicial Pay Raises: Pass the Hat

Professor Ross Davies has an idea about how to fund a long-awaited pay raise for the judiciary: Raise American Bar Association dues to pay for it.

The ABA, an advocate for judicial salary increases, could raise dues for its 400,000 members to provide funds to cover the estimated $44 million needed to put an increase into effect, says Davies in an article in the Green Bag law journal, for which he is editor-in-chief. "They can show they are serious about the need for more money," Davies writes. "They can go out and get it -- or at least publicly promise to do so."

Tony Mauro, Legal Times writer and blogger, cites Davies' article in his entry in The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, and discusses precedent for the idea as uncovered by Davies.

A New (Old) Way to Boost Judicial Pay: Pass the Hat, The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, June 5, 2008. By Tony Mauro.

"And there's precedent, says Davies, who wrote an article on the subject for the unconventional law review Green Bag (he's the editor-in-chief). Digging back into historical documents, Davies discovered that in 1871, members of the Supreme Court bar organized the "Taney Fund" to assist two of Chief Justice Roger Taney's daughters who had fallen on hard times after their father's death in 1864. At the time, congress was also considering a raise for the judiciary, and Davies offers circumstantial evidence that the Taney Fund's creation was meant as much to impress Congress about the dire straits of judges as it was to help Ellen and Sophia Taney. Ultimately, it appears that the Taney Fund, set up to receive donations from lawyers, was not an overwhelming success, though the salary hike was approved." 

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