Chief Judge Rader stepping down as Chief as of 5/30

He’ll continue in active service. Judge Prost succeeds to Chief Judge.

About David

Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law. Formerly Of Counsel, Taylor English Duma, LLP and in 2012-13, judicial clerk to Chief Judge Rader.

10 thoughts on “Chief Judge Rader stepping down as Chief as of 5/30

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    I don’t know, Ned. I know that others had figured out that if Chief quit before X date, Judge Prost would succeed to Chief, and if he did not, Judge Moore would. That is all I know about timing. I do know that he told me that he never talked to anyone about what would drive that decision.

    All I know is that he’s a good friend of mine and patent law is better for him, and so is the court.

    1. 2.1

      David, I too wish Judge Rader well. I envy your friendship with the Judge. He is a good man.

      That said, I think I disagree with Judge Rader’s positions on issues more than I agree. But to his credit, the Supreme Court does listen to him with all seriousness.

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        Heck, I don’t agree with him on everything, and we had some spirited debates. (I hope we have more!) He brings a respect for statutes to the Court that is not always there, imho, and that is certainly a bond we share!


          I would daresay that respect for the statues is merely a reflection of respect for the constitution and the separation of powers doctrine.

          One might not want to have a great deal of respect for particular statutes.

          One must have a great deal of respect for the particular writing that is the constitution.

          (and a further note to Ned: the Royal Nine is NOT the constitution, and one must be able to see when they have been at fault in creating a mess, and one must be able to recognize that they too are limited by the constitution and that their views may not in fact align with that document)


            Let’s take one example, anon, from judge Rader’s respect for the statutes. In BMC Resources, he interpreted ยง271 (a) to require a single actor because he interpreted “whoever” to require one person. In this interpretation he ignored a wealth of contrary precedent where more than one actor could combine to jointly, and directly infringe.

            But what the statute actually say? By the definition statute, whoever really means one or more.

            So much for respect for the statutes.



              Not likely – as I agree that whoever means one or more, and should follow the parallel as discussed in the AIA – by of all people Lemley – that invention largely in the modern era is more likely to be “Team Invention” – so why not mirror that to be “Team Infringer?”

  2. 1

    Dennis, I think Rader is stepping aside because he turned 65. Is this right?

    Second, is this rule about age imposed by this court, or by Congress or by the Supreme Court?

    1. 1.1

      I cannot help but to think of major patent decisions serving as career bookends and draw some consideration to the analogous patent-career bookending decisions of Justice Stevens.

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