The folks at "Above the Law" note that a new federal law would prevent non-citizens from being paid as federal judicial clerks.
Clerkship Application Season: Open Thread (And a tricky issue re: non-citizen law clerks.), By David Lat, September 13, 2010
What I found outrageous was that reportedly, about two dozen would-be clerks are affected by this.
Two dozen? A federal judicial clerkship, for those outside the legal profession, is one of the most prestigious possible spots for a recent law grad.
Most clerk for federal district (i.e., trial-level) and circuit court (i.e., first level of appeal) judges, others for bankruptcy judges and magistrates, and for an impossibly select few, the Supreme Court.
In all, I'd estimate several hundred available spots, so two dozen is a little more than marginal.
More to the point, the fact that non-citizens are preferred by these judges underscores the increasing velocity of the Great Unraveling of America.
The practice of law, unlike other fields, ought to be local — and it's hard to imagine that there aren't enough American citizens for the positions.
Judicial clerks actually create policy in America, which makes me think that it should be American citizens, and not foreigners, filling these important roles.
Itinerant global elites, no.
The neighbor who will live out her days in this country under the cases she helped decide, yes.
Ah, but I'm sure that the Canadians and Zimbabweans display sufficiently exotic plumage for the hiring judges to imagine they're adding cachet to their chambers—sort of like the creation of a "diverse" undergraduate population. I call upon Congress to subpoena the judges who see fit to pass on the resumes of hundreds of American citizens in favor of non-citizens as clerks.
Let them explain it to the Judiciary Committee.