Not many federal judges would turn to the Doctrine and Covenants for direction in their work on the bench.
But for Randall R. Rader, recently appointed a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the message of D&C 121 plays an important part in his work, as well as in his home environment."The Church teaches us over and over again the principle we find in D&C 121 - to deal with individuals as brothers and sisters and as equals, using love and persuasion, not coercion and power. Having proper respect for others becomes the key to any operation, but that's particularly true in an appellate court."
Rader, Young Men president in the Burke Ward, Annandale Virginia Stake, was appointed Aug. 3 as a federal circuit judge presiding in Washington, D.C. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia administered the oath of office on Sept. 25. Rader is the third member of the Church currently serving on the circuit court level.
The other two are Monroe G. McKay, a judge on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Utah, and J. Clifford Wallace, a judge in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California.
Despite his busy schedule - which also includes teaching an LDS institute class - Rader manages to juggle a life full of family, Church and work activities.
"You just work hard day-to-day and trust everybody in the family to do their part and for the most part they do," he said.
Rader, 41, and his wife, Sheryl, are the parents of four children: Larke, Samuel, Lisa and Andrew.
Before his appointment to the Federal Circuit Court bench, he was judge of the U.S. Claims Court. He has also worked as minority chief counsel and staff director on the Senate Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks, and as general counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as chief counsel of the Senate Constitution Subcommittee and as chief counsel and staff director for the minority on the Senate Patent Subcommittee.
"A survey of the attorneys who have appeared before him in court ranked him at or near the top in such categories as adequacy of preparation, application of procedural rules, understanding complex issues, avoiding racial or ethnic bias, courtesy to counsel and familiarity with new law," said U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Rader's close associate and a speaker at his investiture.
As a federal circuit judge, Rader deals with suits lodged against the federal government and also listens to cases involving patents and trademarks, taxes, Indian claims and international trade, and the care of children - particularly minority children who need homes.
"It's a challenging process different from the trial court," Rader said. "There you would make the decision and it would stand. Here you make the decision and then you have to convince someone else of the merits of your resolution of the case. It becomes kind of a challenging exercise in interpersonal relationship as well as legal scholastic ability."
Rader received his bachelor's degree from BYU and completed his juris doctorate at George Washington University National Law Center.
"The Church is the center of my life and it teaches us that with faith and hard work we can achieve both in this life and in the world to come," he said. "Being a good Church member does not guarantee success, but it [leads towardT personal faith, integrity and honesty and they are often corollaries of success."