GBS: Chin Is In

Denny Chin was unanimously confirmed by the Senate this morning for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Congratulations to Judge Chin.

I don’t know what this means for the Google Books case, and would rather just wait to see than speculate.

UPDATE: C.E. Petit thinks that Chin is likely to pass the case along to its third District Judge in two years.

Either the decision will come out the nite before his swearing in to the 2nd Circuit, or it will be assigned to another judge. Remember, not all his clerks will go up with him. I am sure the clerks who are writing the decision will stay with it and with the new judge on the case. And now that judge will be assigned the photographers/illustrators case too. Google will continue to be frustrated in its project and must reconsider it it wishes to continue with unauthorized scanning given all these uncertainties. The courts do not exist for the convenience of the parties, and they dance to their own music, under Art.III of the Constitution.

Judges often take the oath within days of their confirmation, so there is not much time, if any, for Jerome’s first scenario. It would not be unusual, however, and would not surprise me, if Judge Chin kept this one big case — the GBS — for himself even after changing his title from District Judge to Circuit Judge. If not for the parties’ and intervenors’ sakes, then only to spare a colleague from having to take that many steps back and repeat so much of the get-up-to-speed part of the work. As for Jerome’s second thought, no judge, consistent with his or her oath of office, would or could rely on law clerks to tell him/her how to decide a case of this complexity and magnitude, without getting fully immersed in all of it him/herself. So, my (wild) guess is Judge Chin keeps it for himself.

Publishers Weekly on Judge Chin’s move: Judge Presiding Over Google Settlement Moves Up

Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia— The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me

Judge Chin sits on an appeals court panel on Thursday, so maybe Tuesday or Wedneday we’ll know more?