Feeder Judge Rankings

Post Reply
SCOTUS Twerk
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:15 pm

Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by SCOTUS Twerk » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:56 pm

Moving this thread over from the prior forum (same OP). I'll keep it updated with future updates from ATL.

These numbers are for OTs 2011 through 2020 (and some stray 2021 hires), for active or senior judges who have fed at least two clerks to the Supreme Court. If you're just interested in the totals, you can look at the last column. But I thought it was interesting to see the breakdowns by justice as well.

Image

Garland remains the heaviest hitter, but also-rans Katzmann, Griffith, Tatel, and Wilkinson are posting nearly equivalent numbers. Remarkably, the top ten judges account for almost 40% of the clerks sent to the Court over the last ten years.

The top-line totals hide some of the feeding power of more recently appointed judges. So I've calculated per-term numbers below:

Image

Katsas's numbers are astronomical. If he keeps up this pace, he'll rival Garland or Kavanaugh.

This tabulation also shows that five judges (Srinivasan, Pillard, Watford, Barron, and Friedland) have emerged as the Obama-era feeders. No other circuit-level Obama appointee has fed more than one clerk to the Court. (And no Trump appointee save Katsas.)

I also thought it would be interesting to see which judges fed to which half of the Court. For instance, despite Garland's current status as the most prominent feeder judge, he hasn't fed a clerk to Kavanaugh, Alito, Gorsuch, or Thomas (or Scalia) in the last ten years. The same is true for Katzmann.

Here are the per term numbers for judges feeding to the left of the Court (SS, RBG, EK, SB):

Image

Notably, Griffith and Wilkinson fall out of the top five. Srinivasan, Fletcher, and Pillard begin to look like heavy hitters.

Here are the same numbers for the right (JGR, BMK, SA, NMG, and CT):

Image

Katsas takes the top spot, by a comfortable margin. Garland, Katzmann, and Tatel disappear from the list.
Last edited by SCOTUS Twerk on Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by quiver » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:48 pm

Glad you made it over to LSL. Thanks for this tabulation.

User avatar
albinododobird
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:31 am

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by albinododobird » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:32 am

Wonder if any of Trump's judges will emerge as strong feeders in the coming years. Katsas already seems to be feeding like mad to Thomas (for whom he clerked).

User avatar
radio1nowhere
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:50 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by radio1nowhere » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:32 pm

albinododobird wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:32 am
Wonder if any of Trump's judges will emerge as strong feeders in the coming years. Katsas already seems to be feeding like mad to Thomas (for whom he clerked).
One thing to note is that one of the current Katsas --> SCOTUS clerks got her SCOTUS gig before Katsas was even nominated, and one of the others had previously clerked for an established feeder (Pryor). Agree on Katsas' trajectory, though.

Of the rest, Thapar would be on this list already if it included district judges, so I wouldn't be surprised if he kept it up. Same for Sullivan, whose nomination was just announced last week.

Guest

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by Guest » Fri May 18, 2018 7:16 am

Besides Katsas, I'd look for the other former Thomas clerks making it to COAs to feed occasional clerks to him (Stras, Eid).

axelfoley
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:31 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by axelfoley » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:00 pm

.

SCOTUS Twerk
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by SCOTUS Twerk » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:14 am

Updated pursuant to the latest ATL post.

https://abovethelaw.com/2018/08/supreme ... term-2018/

The most interesting development has been Judge Katsas, who has posted incredible numbers for his first year on the bench. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3738
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by UVA2B » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:19 am

Your insight into SCOTUS hiring has been incredible. Thank you for keeping that pulse.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3738
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by UVA2B » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:22 am

What are your thoughts on Srinivasan?

SCOTUS Twerk
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by SCOTUS Twerk » Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:33 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:22 am
What are your thoughts on Srinivasan?
Among the Obama appointees, it looks like only Pillard stands a chance of matching his feeding power in the next few years. Still, so far it's not even close.

More generally, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, he'll likely be quite friendly to D.C. Circuit hiring. So look for the stars of Srinivasan, Griffith, and others to rise even higher.

Snow
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:26 am

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by Snow » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:47 am

Not sure if Twerk is still around, but would love to see updates to the OP based on recently announced hires. Thanks!

renegadecarter

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by renegadecarter » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:17 am

Bump in case OP / anyone else can update for the latest OT 19 / 20 / 21 hires (ATL had a post up in Jan with the latest)

User avatar
kellyfrost
Posts: 9015
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:14 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by kellyfrost » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:17 am

I’ve heard great things about 9th Circuit Judge N.R. Smith. Not sure he is a feeder judge, but a great jurist.

SCOTUS Twerk
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by SCOTUS Twerk » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm

I've updated the original post with the newest numbers, based on both the ATL post and knowledge of otherwise unreported hires.

Some stray thoughts:

For those interested in what the next five years might look like, I've separately calculated how many clerks each judge has sent to the Court over the last five terms, rather than the last ten: Garland (11), Katzmann (11), Sutton (11), Srinivasan (11), Griffith (10), Pryor (10), Wilkinson (8), Tatel (8). In other words, much the same, except that Srinivasan and Pryor will likely climb the ranks, and Tatel will fall somewhat.

Wilkinson is the only current circuit judge who has sent a clerk to all nine current justices. Sutton is the only other judge who has a shot at that distinction. As pipeline effects and self-selection lead to further ideological sorting, one should expect that kind of feeding pattern to die out completely.

Friedland was confirmed in 2014, but she sent her first two clerks to the Court only last year. I suspect she'll keep up the pace, which means the raw numbers might understate her potential feeding power.

Anonermousse

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by Anonermousse » Wed May 20, 2020 1:31 pm

Sutton has fed to Kagan. Trisha Anderson at Cov clerked for both.

SCOTUS Twerk
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by SCOTUS Twerk » Wed May 27, 2020 1:37 am

Anonermousse wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 1:31 pm
Sutton has fed to Kagan. Trisha Anderson at Cov clerked for both.
She clerked OT 2010. As the post indicates, these numbers are for OT 2011 through OT 2020.

Guest

Re: Feeder Judge Rankings

Post by Guest » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:25 pm

Why isn't Judge Sykes (7th Cir.) on here? By my count, she's fed 3 clerks to Thomas alone in the past 10 years.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests