October 29, 2013

Judge Posner wrote a whole book and was, he says, surprised when everybody fixated on one sentence.

The "I plead guilty" one:
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.

23 comments:

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Pretty amazing for the judge. He seems to indicate that the constitutionality of a law should be judged by how it is regarded in certain quarters rather than what it is. Pretty shameful, IMHO.

Illuninati said...

I fail to see how requiring voter ID which is available to everyone can be construed as voter suppression unless you think the suppressed voters are too lazy, too stupid or too incompetent to get the ID. Of course for those who like to cheat in elections that is exactly the type of voter they are looking for. For some reason dead people just are not smart enough and competent enough to register themselves. Fictional voters are likewise unable to obtain their own ID.

Basil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
damikesc said...

I doubt Posner is actually apologetic. I think he is subtly mocking people who don't recognize the laws for what they are...not that he agrees with what they say they are.

Basil said...

"a type of law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention." The problem with his statement is that it repeats lefty agit-prop and he is supposed to be a Judge.

The people, through their elected legislatures get to impose voting standards and they can do so unless they are motivated by an intent to discriminate on the basis of race. Voter ID is not and has never been held to be, intentional race discrimination.

People of all races can get a photo ID. To suggest otherwise is self evidently racist.

Once again, elite lefty opinion trumps the will of the people as expressed in an election. Judge Posner is one of those elites who seems to be getting pressure from the other elites for voting the "wrong" way. Maybe he will change his name to Anthony Kennedy or John Roberts if he ever gets on the Supreme Court.

RecChief said...

every old saying or turn of phrase is politized nowadays

Mark Jones said...

Everything is politicized today--because there is nothing the government doesn't feel entitled to meddle in. When everything is subject to governmental action, everything becomes political.

Mark Jones said...

Everything is politicized today--because there is nothing the government doesn't feel entitled to meddle in. When everything is subject to governmental action, everything becomes political.

traditionalguy said...

Graphomania?

Jack Wayne said...

Judge Posner is a Dick.

Jack Wayne said...

Judge Posner is a Dick.

n.n said...

Ironically, the demand for affirmative voter identification was also presented out of context, or rather in an alien context, by opponents of democratic integrity, most notably Democrats.

tim maguire said...

"I plead guilty" means "I did it." Period. It does not admit or even imply that there was something wrong with the doing. I hope Posner pointed that out in his explanation.

Not that it matters. Posner was mistaken in his statement that voter ID is widely seen as a form of voter suppression. It is never seen that way, it is only claimed that way by dishonest people upset that their favorite method of voter fraud is being threatened.

And those people are going to misrepresent Posners words whether he writes articles explaining them or not.

It's called bad faith.

Sam L. said...

I see Posner as tweaking those who think that ID is voter supression. I'd like to call them idiots, but leftist idealogues is the correct term.

paul a'barge said...

...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

Posner is a poseur. And the bolded text above proves it.

What kind of legal moron would write something like that when
(1) it's patently and provably false and
(2) it reflects the muttering of Lib-tards?

jr565 said...

Saying that it's voter supression really assumes that those being supressed are so fuctionally illiterate that they can't carry out the most basic functions of society. It's really patronizing.
It doesn't take THAT long to get a drivers license.
And by the way, if you're going to get insurance from the exchange you'll probably need to say who you are, which will require ID. So then, the people that need the insurance will have the ID. OF course Obama is only giving lip service to identity validation on the website, but still. Principally, it's the same premise.

For lefties, why isn't verification that makes you show ID to get insurance not similarly suppression. It's not. It's simply a safeguard to make sure people aren't gaming the system.

But if they have the id for the website, they also have the id to vote. And if it didn't take a lot of effort to get the id for the website, the same amount of effort would go into getting the ID to vote, since of course, it would be the same ID.


hombre said...

The arguments that voter ID is discriminatory and suppresses voting is patently absurd and meant for mindless Obamadupes - that is, Democrats.

hombre said...

Well, it may suppress fraudulent voting and that would explain the Democrats' objections.

hombre said...

at 5:01 "...[are] patently absurd."

Doug H. said...

Posner fails to mention that critics are not confined to pointing at a single line out of context. He admitted in a subsequent interview that he got the case wrong:

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/10/28/judge-posner-i-never-said-my-opinion-was-wrong/

37affd9e-e92e-11e0-8515-000bcdca4d7a said...

Try getting into any federal court in the nation without showing picture ID.

Roadkill said...

The "great" Judge Posner? Based on what - his extra-judicial musings in books? Perhaps better adjectives might be 'insecure' or 'unstable,' which would better reflect his showy and capricious dissatisfaction with his own rulings.

Brian said...

It should be noted that while Judge Posner is smart, he's not particularly smart or interesting, and is about 1/10 as smart as Posner thinks Posner is. And Posner, apparently, thinks about Posner a lot.

Posner is also an asshole:
http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/sound/external/sp.13-2661.13-2661_10_03_2013.mp3