Is Legal Tender Next?
Editorial of The New York Sun | October 8, 2012
It’s going to be illuminating to see whether the government appeals the big ruling on judges’ pay that was handed down last week at Washington. The case is called Beer v. United States. The Sun has written about it here and the editor of the Sun here. The plaintiffs are Judge Peter Beer and a rainbow coalition of some of the most distinguished judges on the federal bench. They have just won a ruling that prohibits Congress from suspending a system of automatic pay increases designed to protect their honors from inflation.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, handed down the ruling on Friday. The ruling hasn’t received much coverage in the press, though — at least in our view — it’s one of the most important cases of our time. The reason is that it has to do not only with the question of need for Congress to keep its promises and the need to attract a first class judiciary but also the question of constitutional money.