The federal government is chronically cash-strapped. The salaries of federal judges have been stagnating for decades. The market for highly-prized federal clerkships is saturated with ridiculously-talented and exquisitely-educated overachievers who have already paid a king's ransom for their gold-plated undergraduate and legal education and are poised to sacrifice further for the next plum on the path to legal super-stardom. Obvious solution: auction off the judgeships to the highest qualified bidder.
By raising necessary funding for the judiciary, this proposal is an improvement on the precedent-setting plan of a federal district judge to "hire" a third clerk, who will be unpaid. ("Which one of you is unpaid, again? Oh yeah, okay. Please empty the wastebaskets before you leave today. Thanks.") University of Colorado law prof and controversial Scamblogger Paul Campos (MLaw '89) tells Salon that thinks the scheme may violate FLSA.