"The judiciary is right to take seriously allegations that sitting judges are gaming their retirements at the request of politicians"

"Mitch McConnell has been clear that his top priority is packing the courts with the judges his right-wing donors want, and that he’s actively pushing judges to retire. A judge would undermine the credibility of the bench by participating in that partisan gamesmanship."

Said Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, quoted in "Appeals Court Vacancy Is Under Scrutiny Ahead of Contested Confirmation Hearing/The chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit publicly advanced a call by a progressive group for an ethics investigation into the circumstances of a plum vacancy" (NYT).

Was McConnell "actively pushing judges to retire"? There's a link to this NYT article from March 16th: "McConnell Has a Request for Veteran Federal Judges: Please Quit/The Senate majority leader has encouraged judges thinking about stepping down to do so soon to ensure that Republicans confirm their replacements this year." But there are no quotes from McConnell, just material like this:
Running out of federal court vacancies to fill, Senate Republicans have been quietly making overtures to sitting Republican-nominated judges who are eligible to retire to urge them to step aside so they can be replaced while the party still holds the Senate and the White House. Senator Mitch McConnell... has been personally reaching out to judges to sound them out on their plans and assure them that they would have a worthy successor if they gave up their seats soon, according to multiple people with knowledge of his actions. It was not known how many judges were contacted or which of them Mr. McConnell had spoken to directly....
I wouldn't call that "actively pushing judges to retire." And how could McConnell or anybody else "actively push" a federal judge to retire? By speaking in an especially pushy way? That wouldn't work! Is it unethical to tell a federal judge that you'll be able to expedite the confirmation of his successor? That seems to be what's going on here. McConnell's assurance that the vacancy will be quickly filled may tip the decisionmaking of a judge who doesn't want to create a vacancy that will still be around if Trump loses the election and/or the Senate majority shifts. That's not "actively pushing judges to retire." That's actively removing an obstacle in front of a judge who wants to retire.

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