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.