Chief Justice John G. Roberts appointed U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ‘76 as the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts June 11. As chief administrative officer of the federal courts, Bates serves under the direction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the principal policy-making body for the federal court system.
Bates replaces U.S. District Senior Judge Thomas Hogan Jr., who has served as director since late 2011.
“I am pleased that Judge Bates is willing to take on this important responsibility and carry forward the work of his colleague Judge Hogan,” Chief Justice Roberts said in a statement. “Judge Bates is not only a very talented and experienced judge, but a skilled administrator with broad managerial experience. He brings wise judgment to sensitive issues. I look forward to working closely with John on the many challenging issues facing the judiciary.”
Bates takes office while the judiciary is grappling with $350 million dollars in budget cuts due to the sequester.
“I thank the Chief Justice for this opportunity and look forward to working with him, the Judicial Conference, and the talented personnel of the Administrative Office,” said Bates in accepting his appointment. “While there are considerable challenges ahead, my task has been made easier through the exceptional efforts of my friend and predecessor, Judge Hogan.”
Even with the sequester, Bates still overseas a nearly $7 billion dollar annual budget and will be responsible for “approximately 1,000 employees, and for providing administrative support to 2,335 judicial officers and more than 29,000 court employees,” according to the Supreme Court’s press release.
“Judge Bates is a true leader in the world of the judiciary,” said Dean Phoebe Haddon. “We have no doubt that he will succeed in his new post and are thankful to have such a role model for our current students.”
Bates graduated from Wesleyan University in 1968 and received his J.D. from UM Carey Law in 1976. From 1968 to 1971, he served in the United States Army, including a tour in Vietnam, He was an associate at Steptoe & Johnson from 1977 to 1980, served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1980 to 1997, and was Chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office from 1987 to 1997. Judge Bates was on detail as Deputy Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigation from 1995 to mid-1997. In 1998, he started work at the Washington law firm of Miller & Chevalier until his appointment to the U.S. District Court.