Rehnquist: Pay The Judges

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WASHINGTON: Apparently it doesn't pay to be a federal judge anymore. Just ask Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Warning that the morale and quality of the federal judiciary could be compromised if the government doesn't cough up more cash, the nation's top judge asked Congress for a cost-of-living raise on Tuesday. "(Judges) are not expecting or requesting any major adjustment in their pay," he said, adding that a moderate increase is particularly important because most judges could be making significantly more money working as private attorneys. Federal judges last received a pay raise in 1993. Rehnquist, who earns a standard federal judgeship salary of $133,600 a year, argued that Congressional concerns about balancing the budget must not preclude a moderate increase for judges. Furthermore, he insisted that since the federal caseload is skyrocketing, more federal judges are needed to alleviate a seriously strained judicial system.