Tuition Trumps Dream?

When Judge J. Michael Luttig, 51, wrote President Bush last week to tell him he was resigning from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, he raved about how much he loved being a judge. "I believe that service as a federal judge is one of the very highest callings in life," Luttig wrote, "And I do not believe for a moment that any job could be as personally fulfilling as has been my service on the federal bench."

So why is Luttig resigning to become general counsel for Boeing? One explanation is college tuition. "At the end of the day," Luttig wrote Bush, "I am convinced this is the right decision for me at this time, and most importantly, for my family, to whom I owe my highest obligation. This is especially so, as I am sure you can understand, given that my daughter, Morgan, is rapidly approaching college age, and my son, John, is following not long behind." Luttig, a renowned Constitutional originalist who has long been considered a top prospect for a Supreme Court nomination, earned $175,100 per year on the appeals court.