At long last we now know what it takes to motivate our Chief Justice into declaring a constitutional crisis. Money.

Federal judges say they are underpaid. The problem, in Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s words, "has now reached the level of a constitutional crisis."

It takes a pretty brave soul to argue the other side.

"I couldn’t find any evidence to support his claim," Scott Baker, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, said of the chief justice. Professor Baker published a study last year in the Boston University Law Review that considered whether society would be better off were judges paid more as a matter of labor economics.

Its conclusion: "Pretty much nothing would happen if Congress decided to raise judicial salaries." Money appears to have almost no impact on the quantity and quality of the work judges produce, Professor Baker found, and lots of capable people are eager to take the jobs at the current salary.

Perhaps the Chief Justice and his brethren should consider forming a union.

Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs

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