Richard A. Posner has been called his generation’s “Tenth Justice,” a judge like Learned Hand or Henry Friendly whose prolific intellect and erudite jurisprudence rank him in quality and influence among members of the Supreme Court despite never having sat alongside them. Readers of Posner’s new book, Reflections on Judging, may both concur in his ranking as tenth and be grateful that he stayed that way.
At the volokhconspiracy, Jonathan Adler takes shots at a law review study by Lee Epstein, William Landes, and Richard Posner, purporting to document the Roberts Court’s unprecedented pro-business bias. The study was reported in a New York Times piece by Adam Liptak. After noting significant methodological flaws in the study (which, admittedly, I haven’t read yet but which seems just as shoddy as the “judicial behavior” literature in general), Adler comments: Quantitative studies of the Supreme Court’s behavior can be illuminating, but they only go so far, and they have a difficult time accounting for the actual impact of the Court’s…
Intellectual property rights are in the limelight today. The legal and policy disputes over patented innovation, such as the “smart phone wars,” are front page news and are debated endlessly on the Internet. Copyright law is a topic of discussion and concern among laypersons and specialists given everyone’s ability now to make perfect digital copies of books, music and movies—and the virtually costless and seamless distribution of these perfect copies over the Internet. Once a backwater for tech geeks and a small subset of highly specialized lawyers, patents, copyrights and other intellectual property rights are now common fare of above-the-fold…
Sort of—but not quite. In coming months I’ll devote a number of posts to the pathologies of our administrative law. To avoid further misunderstanding and to keep me gainfully employed, let’s take this from the top.
Graciously descending from the heights of the Seventh Circuit bench and his post as King of every intellectual compost heap, Judge Richard Posner granted an interview to viewpoint, hosted by Eliot Spitzer. For those who have followed the judge’s pronouncements over the past few years, there is not much new here. But you still have to see it to believe it, or my comments below. Keep controlled substances within reach: the content would make the Good Humor man go postal, and the wanton self-destruction of a good man is never a pleasant sight.
Richard Posner’s review of Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner’s new book is peculiar. There is no way to see it as other than a hatchet job – an attempt to attack the book, without balance, from every possible direction. As with most hatchet jobs, it reflects as poorly on its author as on its target.
I say this with some regret as I believe that Richard Posner is a genius – a genius in the sense that he is capable of doing what it is hard to imagine a human being doing. His incredible output at a high quality is just amazing. It is not that any bit of it is so dazzling, although it is quite good; it is the incredible quantity of it at that high level. But, of course, that he is a genius does not make him right. Nor, as is most applicable in this case, does it mean that he does not let his passions get the better of him.
I am not sure how much to blog about this. But as I read through the review, so much is wrong that I thought I would just start discussing it. We will see how many posts I can write about it before tiring. For a more systematic criticism of Posner by someone (unlike me) who has read the Scalia and Garner book, see Ed Whelan’s post (link no longer available). I should note that I don’t agree with Scalia about everything and Posner does make some good points. But the weaknesses of his review are pretty glaring.