Supreme Court: Judges Can’t Rule After Death

The Supreme Court ruled this week that federal judges rule “for life, not for eternity.”

More specifically, the high court ruled that judges who cast decisions, opinions, or votes cannot have them counted if they die before the final ruling is made public.

The case in question concerned Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Last year, Reinhardt was the author to a ruling that was made public 11 days after his death.

Even though Reinhardt fully participated in the case every step of the way and issued a complete ruling, the Supreme Court held that judges rule only for life and not any longer.

“It is generally understood that a judge may change his or her position up to the very moment when a decision is released,” the court said.

By that logic, Reinhardt was no longer a judge after his death and no longer held the right to issue a ruling.

Read the full story here.

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