The sentence runs from the bottom of page 84 to the top of page 85, in a chapter entitled “The Challenge of Complexity.” The sentence reads in its entirety: “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana’s requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo ID—a type of law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.” (The footnote provides the name and citation of the opinion: Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 472 F.3d 949 (7th Cir. 2007), affirmed, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).)And now he has to write a whole article to explain to the damned cherry-pickers what it means in context. Of course, he can't be surprised that any sentence that can be used by people who already have things they want to say will be used, especially on a hot issue like voter ID. Anything you say in a book of law can and will be used against you.
A judge doesn't have to write a book revealing ways of thinking about the cases that don't show up in the written opinions. He has a right to refuse to write anything other than the required cases, clamped into the conventions of judicial opinion writing.
But Judge Posner obviously loves to write his books. Who puts out more outside-of-the-opinions writings about what's really going on in the opinions than Richard Posner? He must love even when people get things wrong. People are talking about his writings, and that creates an occasion for more writing, and then people will talk about that too, as we're doing now.
All the best to the great Judge Posner — understood or misunderstood — innocent or guilty. Thanks for all the books, including the new one, "Reflections on Judging," which I'm downloading so I can — I plead guilty! — rip sentences out of context and work my will on them, cranking out the verbiage in this grand fellowship of graphomania.