Rader Steps Down – Prost Steps Up

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.

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