Judge’s Expected Retirement Will Let Trump Appoint Conservative to Powerful Circuit
D.C. Circuit often stepping stone to Supreme Court
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump will soon have the ability to start remaking Washington’s second-most powerful court, with the expected retirement of Judge Janice Rogers Brown from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Judge Brown, a 2005 appointee of President George W. Bush, has notified officials that she is stepping down, according to a person familiar with the matter. Judge Brown, 68 years old, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
It is common for federal judges to time their retirements when a president of the party who appointed them is in office. That increases the odds of a like-minded successor.
Moreover, retired federal judges frequently assume “senior status,” which allows them to maintain their salaries and continue hearing cases, with some limitations.
Judge Brown has been among the most conservative voices on the D.C. Circuit, which hears many cases involving federal regulatory authority, the powers of the executive and legislative branches, and special matters such as appeals from Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Three current Supreme Court justices served on the D.C. Circuit, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia and the judge former President Barack Obama nominated to succeed him, Merrick Garland, whose confirmation was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Judge Garland currently serves as the D.C. Circuit’s chief judge.
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Appeared in the July 8, 2017, print edition as 'Trump to Fill Vacancy on Powerful Circuit.'
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