The Chief Judgeship and World War II
This chapter details Learned Hand's accession to chief judgeship after fifteen years as circuit court judge. He gained the position not as a reward for outstanding work, but automatically: the position is given to the sitting judge with seniority of service. Far more dramatic than the elevation itself were the circumstances surrounding it, for the position became open in 1939 because the incumbent chief, Martin Manton, resigned under threats of impeachment and criminal indictment. When Hand took over the position, he sought to improve relations between the chief and the other judges, and to purge the courthouse staff of second-rate political appointments.
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