Do the Sentencing Guidelines Influence the Retirement Decisions of Federal Judges?
Many U.S. district court judges have expressed dissatisfaction with the sentencing guidelines. Such feelings are consistent with the assumption that judges care about power, not being overturned, and sentences being proportional to the offense. This paper shows that the sentencing guidelines lead judges to take senior status earlier. Specifically, under the sentencing guidelines, district court judges take senior status .4 years after becoming eligible to do so. Without the sentencing guidelines, district court judges would select senior status 3 years after becoming eligible.
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