So You Want To Be A Special Master
Judge Cannon is out of control, but Kenneth Feinberg's 9/11 gig had already led to a proliferation of special masters to perform duties more appropriate to government officials.
There’s nothing especially special about special masters. The function is by now so routine that there’s a professional society (formerly the Academy of Court-Appointed Masters, now renamed the Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals to avoid the “massa” problem). You see want ads for special masters that require previous experience as a special master. The special masters even had a convention in 2004 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Blame Ken Feinberg, the King Kong of special masters, who put special masters on the map when he was put in charge of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
My latest piece, for the New Republic, explains why the special master fetish is bad for democracy. You can read it here.
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