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Roberts presses calls for judicial pay raises in 2008 report

[JURIST] US Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. [official profile] pressed his call for raises for federal judges in his 2008 year-end report [PDF text] on the federal judiciary, released Wednesday. Roberts compared the $6.8 billion allocated to the federal judiciary to the $3 trillion federal budget, labeling the judiciary's cost miniscule. He detailed steps that have been taken by the judiciary to reduce spending on rent, personnel and information technology and insisted that ts members' requests were modest. He wrote:

Congress must provide judicial compensation that keeps pace with inflation. Judges knew what the pay was when they answered the call of public service. But they did not know that Congress would steadily erode that pay in real terms by repeatedly failing over the years to provide even cost-of-living increases.
Roberts' own salary for 2008 [CRS Report, PDF] was $217,400 while Associate Supreme Court Justices made $208,100, about 2.5% higher than 2007 salaries. Other federal judges made between $155,756 and $179,500 in 2008.

Roberts' plea for cost-of-living raises in his 2008 report differs from the focus of some of his previous requests. In 2007 [JURIST report] Roberts called for judicial pay raises in accordance with pending legislation. In his 2006 report [JURIST report], Roberts declared that raises were necessary to keep up with private-sector salaries and to maintain the quality and independence of federal judges. Roberts' first annual report [JURIST report] in 2005 contained similar requests.

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