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When Chief Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia steps down this spring, the District’s federal trial court will lose one of its most-prized leaders. So will the Judicial Conference, the federal judiciary’s policy-making body. Hogan, 69, who announced last month that he will take senior status on May 1, says he’s giving up his post as chairman of the conference’s executive committee when he hands the reins over to Judge Royce Lamberth. Lamberth, 64, will replace Hogan as a member of the conference, but he will not serve on the executive committee, the members of which are appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. “The next meeting isn’t until September, so that should give Judge Lamberth a chance to catch up,” Hogan says. The Judicial Conference is composed of chief judges and one district judge from each of the 12 judicial circuits. The district judges are elected to the conference by majority vote of all circuit and district judges. In the District, elections have been pro forma because there’s only one district court. The incoming chief judge has historically filled the outgoing chief’s spot. Hogan was appointed chairman of the executive committee of the Judicial Conference in 2005. He has been a member of the committee since 2001, when he became chief judge.
Joe Palazzolo can be contacted at [email protected].

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