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et al. Glidden Company v. Zdanok

What Protection Does A Judge Need?

As a matter of fact, Congress has passed laws guaranteeing that Article I judges have their jobs for life. Therefore, a majority of the Supreme Court ruled that Judge Madden's participation on the circuit court was perfectly acceptable. The Court cited the high regard in which they held the court of claims, as well as the fact that claims court judges' jobs are protected.

Justice Douglas and Black dissented. In their opinion, Article III and Article I courts should never be confused. True, Article I judges held their jobs for life, but this was only because Congress had passed a bill saying so. There was nothing stopping Congress from repealing this legislation if it chose. Moreover, the dissenters said, Article I judges did not have protection for their salaries. Only a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing both their jobs and their salaries, would make them as independent as Article III judges, and would therefore empower them to hear cases in federal circuit court.

The dissenters also suggested that Article I judges had different qualifications from Article III judges. As Justice Douglas wrote in his decision, "Men [sic] of highest quality chosen as Article I judges might never pass muster for Article III courts when tested by their record of tolerance for minorities and for their respect of the Bill of Rights . . . "

Despite these arguments, a majority of the Court chose to affirm Judge Madden's participation on the circuit court. Thus, the Glidden decision had two important results: it established workers' seniority rights in more than one plant operated by their companies, and it affirmed the right of Article I judges to make circuit court decisions.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962et al. Glidden Company v. Zdanok - Significance, Management Rights Vs. Seniority, Ruling On The Judge, Article I And Article Iii