Denny Chin, Fabulosity, Federal Judges, Kim McLane Wardlaw, Kimba Wood, Loretta Preska, Money, Romance and Dating, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court

A Solution to the Federal Judicial Pay Crisis: Marry Into Money

Kimba Wood Judge Kimba M Wood Frank Richardson Above the Law blog.jpgAs we previously mentioned, and as Lawrence Hurley of the Daily Journal reports here, Congress is considering a proposal that would raise federal judges’ salaries by a significant margin. Here’s what the new scale would look like (with current salaries indicated parenthetically):

District Court Judges: $247,800 (up from $165,200)
Court of Appeals Judges: $262,700 ($175,100)
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court: $304,500 ($203,000)
Chief Justice of the United States: $318,200 ($212,100)

This proposal would cost millions in taxpayer dollars. So we have a better solution to the problem of federal judicial pay, which Chief Justice John Roberts has dubbed a “constitutional crisis.”

Here’s our brilliant idea: Require all federal judges to marry rich!

Don’t you just love couples in which one spouse is a judge, with all the power and prestige of judicial office, and the other spouse is rolling in dough? Off the top of our head, we can name a number of federal judges who have married well — or at least wealthy. (Like Judge Kimba Wood, above right, with her well-heeled hubby, Frank Richardson.)

We list some judges who have married into money, and we invite additional examples from you, after the jump.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court): Her husband, Martin Ginsburg, is a top tax lawyer and former partner at Fried Frank (where he’s now of counsel). The assets of the Ginsburgs subject to the financial disclosure rules — which, it should be noted, don’t include all of their assets — could be worth as much as $28 million.

Stephen G. Breyer (Supreme Court): From Oyez:

[I]n 1967, Breyer met his future wife, Joanna Hare, the daughter of England’s Lord John Blakenham…. Breyer married Joanna in England in an Anglican ceremony, carefully edited to remove references to Christ. His marriage greatly increased his personal wealth…

The Breyers’ disclosable assets could be worth as much as $15.4 million.

Kim McLane Wardlaw (9th Cir.): Her husband, Bill Wardlaw, is a former O’Melveny & Myers partner. But he has earned his fortune in the world of investment management. Back in 1998, the Wardlaws had disclosable assets of $12 million (with no liabilities). Almost a decade later, that number is surely higher.

Denny Chin (S.D.N.Y.): His wife, Kathy Hirata Chin, is a partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (2006 PPP: $2.375 million).

Susan J. Dlott (S.D. Ohio): Her husband, Stan Chesley, is a hugely successful plaintiffs’ attorney. Check out their $12 million, 27,000 square foot mansion, by clicking here.

Loretta A. Preska (S.D.N.Y.): Her husband, Thomas J. Kavaler, is a partner at Cahill Gordon (2006 PPP: $2.575 million). He sits on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Kimba M. Wood (S.D.N.Y.): Her husband, financier Frank Richardson, had a net worth of $175 million as of several years ago. Who knows what it might be today?

Congress Mulls Salary Raise for the Judiciary [Daily Journal via How Appealing Extra]

Earlier: Skaddenfreude: Chief Justice to $318,200?

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