FBA Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court

The Federal Bar Association has filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court of the United States to accept a case that contends that the denial of cost-of-living salary adjustments to federal judges violates the Constitution. 

FBA joined with five other bar associations on the brief, filed June 14, 2010, in Peter H. Beer, et. al v. United States, No. 09-1395.  At issue is whether Congress’ failure to approve annual cost-of-living adjustments violates the Compensation Clause of the Constitution, which guarantees undiminished compensation for federal judges. The appellants are seven current and retired federal judges.  The appellants contend they are entitled to back pay and declaratory relief for pay raises authorized under the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.

They acknowledge they cannot win their case unless the courts overturn a 2001 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Williams v. United States.

The amicus brief did not reflect opinions of judges who belong to the FBA. Its members who are government attorneys played no role in the decision to file the brief or in developing its contents.

See more about the FBA's views on federal judicial pay.