Judge Randall Rader will step down as Chief Judge of the Fed. Cir. on May 30th, and Judge Sharon Prost will replace him. Judge Rader will remain active as a “Circuit Court Judge.”
As Chief Judge, Rader bought sheer intelligence and coherence to a number of difficult decisions. Although I have criticized his Bilski dissent – which bought the cult of the abstract idea to prominence, he also was among the last of the defenders of a limited role for the written description requirement – a legal battle eventually lost (See his concurrence in Novozyme v. DuPont Nutrition this year).
I guess I would have hoped for a Chief Justice with some scientific background – Judge Prost is an expert on Labor Relations, but I certainly wish her well as she prepares to lead the court into uncharted waters, with the Supreme Court poised to be the Neptune to her Ulysses.