► U.S. Judge Laurence Silberman; arrogant, greedy ingrate Print E-mail

U.S. Judge Laurence Silberman; arrogant, greedy ingrate

Judge Laurence Silberman was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. in 1985 and is 76 years old as we speak (ca. Dec. 1, 2010).
Judge Silberman is one of eight (8) federal judges that sued the government for wage increases by claiming that Congress lacked the authority to deny them cost-of-living increases over the past several years. They base this rather novel claim on the constitution which prohibits the reduction of a federal judge’s salary while he/she remains on the bench.  
In October 2009, the Federal Court of Claims dismissed this frivolous lawsuit since the issue was previously ruled on in 2001 when another group of judges made the same asinine claim.
Judge Silberman’s feigned claim of poverty doesn’t pass the involuntary laugh test. In fact, his annual financial statements for 2008 and 2009 show that his earnings are as follows:
  • 2009 = $80,000 – Georgetown Univ. + $102,000 dividends + $184,500 salary = $366,500
  • 2008 = $80,000 – Georgetown Univ. + $80,000 dividends + $179,500 salary = $339,500
In addition, Judge Silberman’s wife, Patricia Winn Silberman collects a pension in an amount undisclosed on his financial statements. Therefore, it can safely be assumed that Silberman and his wife enjoy an annual income approaching $500,000.
In 1989, Congress passed a statute limited the amount of outside income a federal judge could earn to 15% of a judge’s annual salary. Judge Silberman is apparently of the opinion that he is exempt from this law as evidenced by the annual wages he earned teaching at Georgetown as evidenced below.
  • 2009 = $80,000 – 15% of $184,500 salary = $27,675
  • 2008 = $80,000 – 15% of $179,500 salary = $26,925
  • 2007 = $40,000 – 15% of $175,100 salary = $26,265
  • 2005 = $50,000 – 15% of $171,800 salary = $25,770
  • 2004 = $50,000 – 15% of $167,600 salary = $25,140
  • 2003 = $44,000 – 15% of $164,600 salary = $24,690
Clearly Judge Silberman believes he is above complying with the law since his annual earnings from Georgetown clearly exceed the statutory limits imposed by Congress in 1989. In fact, this income exceeds the statutory limit by $187,535 over six years ($31,255 yearly average).
From 2003 to 2009, Silberman realized a 12.1% increase in his annual salary. Yet, he now has the chutzpah to demand even more from the overburdened taxpayers. Likewise for the greedy ingrates that joined him in this frivolous lawsuit.
Silberman’s lawsuit laughingly claims his salary was unconstitutionally diminished when Congress refused to grant cost-of-living (COLA) increases in from 1994-1997, 1999 and 2007. The COLA increases for those years were 15.2%, which would increase Silberman’s annual salary from $184,500 to $212,544.
In addition to this greedy dialing-for-dollars scheme, Silberman and his cohorts on the federal bench are seeking an annual pay increase of between 33 and 50%, which is pending in Congress. If granted a 50% pay increase along with having the Supreme Court rule in his favor on the 15.2% in COLA increases, Silberman’s annual salary would increase to $318,816.
Hyperbole (BS) that federal judges could earn more in private sector
In support of their pleas of poverty, federal judges including Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Alito have claimed that federal judges could leave the bench and earn 3 or 4 times more in the private sector. Of course they never disclose the names of the law firms that offered to pay a District or Appellate Judge $500,000 or more a year. Moreover, they never disclose the names of any federal judges who turned down such an offer. The reason they fail to do so is because such claims are not only disingenuous but patently untrue.
If Judge Silberman is dissatisfied with an income that is almost four times what the average hardworking and overtaxed worker in America earns, then I’d counsel him to do us all a favor and “take a hike”. I hear tell they’re hiring greeters at the local Wal Mart in D.C. If that doesn’t work out for ya Judge Silberman, there’s always bartender school.

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