Are political cases sometimes influenced by the judges own political views? Who gets the case could be the key to what happens. A couple of judges on the D.C. circuit were also previous political appointees. Could that influence how they might rule?
Of the regular non-senior status judges there are seven Obama, five Bush43 and three Clinton appointees one of whom is the Chief judge.
Senior judges are two Reagan and two Clinton appointees.
Here is the U.S.D.C. D.C. Local Rule about the secrecy of the selection deck that have in other smaller courts been simply a deck of cards.
(a) COURT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.
The Clerk or his/her designee may respond to or describe, in general terms, the process of
creating case assignment decks for the automated case assignment system. In addition,
the Clerk or his/her designee is also authorized to reveal the name of a judge assigned a
case and the procedure by which the assignment was made. No employee of the Court
may reveal to any other person, other than members of the Calendar and Case
Management Committee and the Chief Judge, any list that may show the composition of
any deck. No court employee may number or assign any case other than in the manner
provided in these Rules or in the manner ordered by the Calendar and Case Management
Committee. An employee who violates this provision may be subject to discharge from
(b) THIRD PARTIES.
No person shall directly or indirectly cause, or procure, or attempt to cause or procure, a
court officer or employee to reveal to any person, other than the members of the Calendar
and Case Management Committee, the sequence of the judges’ names within each block
of assignment cards, or to number or assign any case otherwise than herein provided or as
ordered by the Calendar and Case Management Committee. A violation of this Rule may
be punished as a contempt of court.
COMMENT TO LCrR 57.15(a): This amendment provides the Clerk’s Office with
sufficient latitude to generally discuss the creation of the case assignment decks.
Further, it permits the Chief Judge to be apprised of the composition of any deck.