Is Judicial Conference Call to End Judge Shopping Anti-Biden?

March 22, 2024
Court Updates | First Liberty Insider

by Hiram Sasser, Executive General Counsel • 3 min read

Recently, the Judicial Conference of the United States—the policymaking arm of the federal judiciary—issued a press release declaring its concern and solution for what the Conference calls, “judge shopping.” The Conference announced a new policy that calls for assigning cases challenging federal or state laws to a judge randomly throughout a federal district.

With this, it appears that the Judicial Conference is finally taking a hard stand against President Biden’s lifelong commitment to protecting judge shopping in bankruptcy matters.

It is well-documented by Professor Charles Tabb at the University of Illinois that there is a controversy concerning judge shopping, as the Judicial Conference calls it, in the bankruptcy courts. The allegation, levied by Lynn LoPucki in his book, Courting Failure, is that the bankruptcy judges in Delaware are engaged in, his word, “corruption,” to lure high stakes bankruptcy matters to their courts.

The problem grew so large, in fact, that U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas took on the cause to beat back this problem through a legislative effort that then-Senator Joe Biden killed. In a long-awaited rebuttal to Joe Biden’s fanatic defense of the bankruptcy practices of his home state, Delaware, The Judicial Conference is now taking Sen. Cornyn’s side and seeking to bring an end to “judge shopping.”

For his part, Chief Judge Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit commended the Judicial Conference’s efforts in this regard, stating “it was a really good idea.”

One hopes this was the target of the Judicial Conference, the well-documented controversy regarding Delaware bankruptcy judges that President Biden so effectively protects, rather than a new concern regarding more recently appointed federal judges in the more rural parts of America. Because, it cannot be that the rich, powerful elites receive the protection of President Biden and the silence of the Judicial Conference for their decades use of “judge shopping” for their interests and then the regular folks in flyover country receive a rebuke from the Judicial Conference for continuing the practice of Judge William Wayne Justice.

Judge Justice reigned over a single judge town in Tyler, Texas. When asked “Did you become the forum of choice for civil-rights forum-shoppers,” Judge Justice replied, “I think the word got out that there was a judge in Tyler who was willing to follow the law.”

It would be troubling indeed, after decades of Judge Justice, bankruptcy judges in Delaware, and others all earning the silence of the Judicial Conference for the true reason for their clarion call to end “judge shopping” to be today because some judge in Amarillo, Texas has the temerity to follow the law in a way that ruffles the political feathers of those in power. One can only assume that the true target of the Judicial Conference lies elsewhere.

Learn More:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Democrats Continue Partisan Attacks On Federal Judiciary

Washington Examiner: Judiciary seeks limits on ‘judge shopping’ strategies after bipartisan concerns

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