U.S. District Judge John Bates will take over next month as director of the federal judiciary's administrative office, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today.
Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., appointed Bates to replace U.S. District Senior Judge Thomas Hogan Jr., who has served as director since late 2011. Bates, according to the announcement, will continue to serve as a U.S. district judge when he assumes his new role July 1. As executive director, he'll manage the office's approximately 1,000 employees and oversee the administration of federal courts nationwide. He couldn't be reached this morning for comment.
Hogan wasn't immediately available today for comment, but a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, David Sellers, said the judge "just thought the time was right" to step down, noting Hogan planned to only serve one year as director. In addition to his caseload as a senior judge, Hogan serves on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Bates will take over the administrative office as the federal judiciary continues to grapple with mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration. The cuts slashed $350 million from the courts' budget. In early May, Hogan and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Julia Gibbons, the chair of the U.S. Judicial Conference, submitted a request to Congress for $73 million in emergency funding. The courts are also bracing for the cuts to continue in the next fiscal year beginning October 1.
"Judge Bates is not only a very talented and experience judge, but a skilled administrator with broad managerial experience," Roberts said in a statement. "He brings wise judgment to sensitive issues. I look forward to working closely with John on the many challenging issues facing the judiciary."
Bates spent the bulk of his career as a federal prosecutor before he joined the court in 2001. He was an assistant U.S. attorney in D.C. from 1980 to 1997, and served as chief of the office's civil division from 1987 to 1997. In 1998, he joined Miller & Chevalier, where he chaired the government contracts and litigation practice until his nomination.
From 2005 to 2011, Bates served on the U.S. Judicial Conference's court administration and case management committee. In February, he finished a seven-year stint on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in February; he was presiding judge of the court beginning in 2009.
National Law Journal photo by Diego M. Radzinschi.