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September 9, 2009

A reported promotion for the judge who gave Madoff the max

The New York Times is reporting in this article, headlined "Madoff’s Sentencing Judge To Be Appellate Court Choice," that the federal district judge who maxed out Bernie Madoff is soon to be nominated to the Second Circuit.  Here are the basics:

Denny Chin, a federal district judge in Manhattan who has been involved in a number of prominent decisions, including the sentencing of Bernard L. Madoff to 150 years in prison for his huge Ponzi scheme, is expected to be nominated by the White House for a prestigious appellate judgeship in New York, according to the office of Senator Charles E. Schumer.  Mr. Schumer’s office said that the nomination is expected in the coming months, in time to be confirmed by the Senate before it recesses later in the year.

If nominated, and confirmed by the Senate, Judge Chin would join the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, known widely for its rulings in financial and white-collar cases, among others.  It is also the court where Justice Sonia Sotomayor served before she was named to the Supreme Court.

Judge Chin, 55, would become the sole Asian-American to fill an active judgeship on a United States Circuit Court of Appeals.  (Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the Ninth Circuit has taken senior status, a sort of semi-retirement.)

Senator Schumer, who was consulted on the matter, said, “We told the White House that Judge Chin would be an outstanding choice.”  “Even in the most high-profile of cases, he has been unflappable, erudite and steadily applied the law,” said the senator, who sits on the Judiciary Committee.

September 9, 2009 at 09:13 PM | Permalink


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I, for one, expected this to happen for the following reasons
1) Madoff
2) age and experience
3) demographics (sole asian on appeals court)
4) four vacancies on 2nd ct

Posted by: . | Sep 10, 2009 8:59:12 AM

I was wrong, there's a fifth vacancy coming this fall on the 2nd ct.

Posted by: . | Sep 10, 2009 9:08:29 AM

I doubt (1) had much to do with it...good talking point if the Republicans argue that he's "soft," but hard to imagine it moving Chin ahead of some other candidate. (2) and (3) are probably the whole story.

Of course, there has to be a vacancy for there to be a nomination, so I'm not sure what (4) adds.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 10, 2009 2:09:38 PM

There's a fixed number of candidates (Obama has been nominating district court judges mostly), so the more vacancies the more likely an individual is to get one of them. The 2nd ties with the 4th for the most vacancies.

I think (1) just bumps him up to the top of the list ...

Posted by: . | Sep 10, 2009 3:30:44 PM

How about the fact he is very well qualified as the #1 reason.

Posted by: SheliaB | Sep 10, 2009 9:11:32 PM

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