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From 1960 to 2015, Federal District Court opinions involving challenges to Executive Branch authority show that U.S. Federal District Court judges (trial judges) support such authority less as they age, with a sharp decline beginning near age 57. We argue that District judges know that elevation to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals becomes increasingly improbable, and hence have less reason to ‘cooperate’ with the Executive, with advancing age. Political variables (and other variables) introduced as extra regressors do not reverse our main results. When there are contemporaneous vacancies on their Circuit courts, District judges in the eleven State Circuits (but not the District of Columbia circuit) are also more likely to favor the Executive


Working Paper 17-23



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