Our Clerk’s office issued a press release today. In pertinent part, it reads as follows
District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon today announced his plan to retire from regular active service as a United States District Judge for the District of Nebraska, effective October 3, 2014. Judge Bataillon will take senior status on that date, but will maintain a full caseload.
Commenting on Judge Bataillon’s years of service to the federal court, Chief District Judge Laurie Smith Camp stated, “Judge Bataillon’s has had a very distinguished judicial career since his appointment in 1997, including seven years as this district’s Chief Judge, and twelve years in national leadership roles–guiding the federal judiciary’s policy on budget, finance, economy, security, and space and facilities. We are grateful that Judge Bataillon has chosen to remain with the Court in senior status, continuing to build on his impressive legacy.”
Judge Bataillon’s retirement to senior status will create a vacancy on the district court bench. President Obama will nominate Judge Bataillon’s successor, who then must be confirmed by the United States Senate. The district court judges have stressed to Nebraska’s two United States Senators, Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer, the importance of nominating and confirming an able successor to replace Judge Bataillon. Currently, Nebraska’s criminal felony per-judge caseload ranks eighth out of the nation’s 94 districts. For the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013, the average federal district judge handled 121 criminal cases, while the average Nebraska federal district judge handled 237 criminal cases. Nebraska ranks seventh in the nation for supervised release hearings in criminal cases. The average federal district judge handled 37 supervised release hearings,while
the average Nebraska federal district judge handled 106. In light of these statistics and Nebraska’s loss of its fourth active federal district judgeship in 2007, upon the retirement of the late Judge Thomas Shanahan, Judge Bataillon’s successor will need to assume and manage a busy docket.
Judge Joe has been an especially able United States District Judge and a power for good at the local and national level regarding the administration of the federal courts. In my opinion, he was the best Chief Judge our court ever had. Most importantly, he is a really fine person.