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Senate panel approves federal judiciary pay raise

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] approved a 29 percent pay raise for all federal judges Thursday by a margin of 10-7. If passed by Congress, the Federal Judicial Salary Restoration Act of 2007 [S 1638 materials] would mark the first significant raise federal judges have received since 1991. The bill stops judicial pay from being set at the same level as members of Congress and would raise salaries for district judges to $218,000 per year; federal appeals judges would earn $231,000 per year and associate Supreme Court justices would earn $267,900. The Chief Justice would earn $279,900. The House Judiciary Committee approved [JURIST report] HR 3753 [bill materials], the House version of the bill, in December.

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has called for a federal judiciary pay raise since he began his tenure on the court, arguing that experienced district court judges receive salaries comparable first year associates at many law firms. Last month, Roberts used his 2007 year-end report [PDF text] on the federal judiciary to urge Congress to increase the salaries of federal judges and to increase communications between all branches of government. AP has more.

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