Tag: Federal District Judges

James R. Copland joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss President Trump’s impact on the federal courts, the appointment of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and the diversity in conservative judicial philosophy emerging today.

The director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute, where he is a senior fellow, James Copland has written and spoken widely on how to improve America’s civil- and criminal-justice systems. “Toward a Less Dangerous Judicial Branch,” his article (coauthored with Rafael A. Mangual) assessing Trump’s court appointments, appears in the Winter 2019 issue of City Journal.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Black Robe Fever


Lawyers with active practices in the federal system are familiar with “black robe fever.” It’s a virulent disease that strikes some attorneys when they are elevated to the federal bench and don the black robe.

Once the malady takes hold, it often converts a mild-mannered, run-of-the-mill lawyer with political connections into an omniscient tyrant with an oversized ego and imperious attitude. Medical researchers opine that among the causes of the fever is the fact that federal judges’ appointments are for life and they cannot be fired, only impeached by Congress.