Last week, Above the Law reported on a most interesting clerkship rejection letter they called "rejection via resignation." In the letter, Judge John Daniel Tinder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit softly let an applicant down, stating: "Your credentials are outstanding. However, I recently decided that I will be leaving the court in 2015 so I will not be hiring any additional clerks."
A testament to the applicant's resourcefulness, the "tipster" could not find any formal retirement announcements and let ATL know.
'Rule of 80'
The age and service requirement of the federal judiciary known as the "Rule of 80" is codified in 28 U.S.C. § 371, which provides that, "Beginning at age 65, a judge may retire at his or her current salary or take senior status after performing 15 years of active service as an Article III judge (65+15 = 80)."
Judge Tinder turns 65 in February 2015, and has served as an Article III judge for more than 25 years (20 years as a District Court Judge for the Southern District of Indiana and more than seven years a judge on the Seventh Circuit). Because of his age and years of service, he "will be eligible to retire with full pay," reports the ABA Journal.
Tinder on Tinder
Having interviewed Judge Tinder in the past in a series called "Underneath Their Robes," an ATL editor reached out to Judge Tinder to hear what he had to say, and it turns out the judge was in good spirits. Tinder reportedly said, "No good deed goes unpunished. ... I wanted to give clerkship applicants some guidance about my future plans while holding off on a public announcement for a little bit longer."
According to ATL, Tinder hasn't decided what he will do once he retires, saying, "I've got some hazy concepts in my mind, but no definite project."
- Questions Presented: Judge John D. Tinder!!! (Part 1) (Underneath Their Robes)
- Year in Review 2013: Highlights From the Seventh Circuit (FindLaw's U.S. Seventh Circuit Blog)
- Judge Posner Can't Agree on What He Decided, or Said (FindLaw's U.S. Seventh Circuit Blog)
- Judge Recuses Himself in Former Judge Michael 'Bad' Cook's Case (FindLaw's U.S. Seventh Circuit Blog)