September 1, 2017

The end of an era here in the 7th Circuit: Richard Posner retires, suddenly, beginning tomorrow.

The Chicago Tribune reports.
Posner said in a statement he has written more than 3,300 opinions in his time on the bench and is "proud to have promoted a pragmatic approach to judging." He said he spent his career applying his view that "judicial opinions should be easy to understand and that judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case."...

"I think [the Supreme Court has] reached a real nadir," Posner said [in an appearance last year]. "Probably only a couple of the justices, (Stephen) Breyer and (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg, are qualified. They're OK, they're not great."....

"Because American law is very confused, you can't avoid mistakes," Posner said. "I'm sure I've made plenty of mistakes, but if one is bothered by that, you can't do the job. If you take it too seriously and are too concerned that you're making mistakes, then it just becomes unbearable."
There's also this, about Posner's youth:
Born in New York, Posner grew up with a left-wing mother who had many radical friends, including a couple who adopted the children of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the executed Russian spies, according to a Tribune Magazine profile in 2000. Posner has said he once gave away his train set to the Rosenberg kids....

48 comments:

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"then it just becomes unbearable"

Ha.

rcocean said...

He always struck me as Poser. Wasn't he supposed to be some sort of Conservative Judge? He seems to be upset he never got a SCOTUS seat.

And Ginsburg and Breyer being 'qualified' - what does that mean? Yes, I understand some SCOTUS judges just make it up as they go along (cf: Kennedy) but

I don't see any evidence that Ginsburg is anything more than a left-wing ideologue and partisan Democrat. All the liberals seem to vote as a bloc on almost every single issue. Can you point to a single time anyone of the left the "Bloc" and were the key 5th vote that went a conservative way?

retired said...

He's the poster boy for term limits and mandatory retirement for public employees.

Fernandinande said...

judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case....

Judges should be removed for claiming to be Philosopher Kings, unfortunately it's too late for this goofus.

"Probably only a couple of the justices, (Stephen) Breyer and (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg, are qualified. They're OK, they're not great."....

They're both good little racists.

David said...

Posner seems to be pretty sure he is more qualified than all of the Supreme Court Justices put together. And also pretty pissed that he never got a nomination.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Posner seems to be pretty sure he is more qualified than all of the Supreme Court Justices put together. And also pretty pissed that he never got a nomination."

It's sad that some of y'all are goin' in this direction.

In your defense, you don't intend to be mean to the hostess as you describe loser Posner re the lawyering profession.

Still, it's sorta psycho of ya.



Just sayin'.

Michael K said...

He is the justice who reinstated counts against Conrad Black that the jury had rejected.

I'm sure Black is pleased today.

gspencer said...

Giving away a train set?

Giving anything to a commie, even the child of a commie, is simply a preemptive act. They woulda stolen it from you anyway.

Browndog said...

"Because American law is very confused, you can't avoid mistakes..."

Gee, I wonder how that happened....Judge.

steve uhr said...

The antitrust bar loses a giant.

Browndog said...

How many more Judges have to retire before "The Constitution says" you can yell 'wolf' in a crowded theater?

Comanche Voter said...

Posner, whatever his other merits and demerits, and there were more than a few on both sides of that issue, never suffered from lack of self esteem.

robinintn said...

'Posner, who serves on the faculty of University of Chicago Law School, said he looks forward to continuing to teach and publish "with a particular focus on social justice reform." '

Chuck said...

I will always be grateful to Posner for Austin v. AANS, a little-known, brilliant, visionary decision in an odd little backwater of expert witness testimony in medical malpractice litigation.

Enough to make me overlook his recent aberrations.

Sebastian said...

He epitomized the lawlessness of American "law." Good riddance.

Mr. Majestyk said...

He really changed over the years. I wonder why. It was very odd to see his descent into left-wing result-orientedness.

steve uhr said...

What non lawyers don't understand is that the vast majority of decisions are not political. Posner's enormous intellect improved the state of American law that in countless ways. And his opinions are always a fun read.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Given his serious lurch to the left in recent years, I am surprised he retired now, allowing Trump to nominate his replacement. Maybe he is counting on Durbin to blue-slip any replacement for the next three years.

William said...

I saw a documentary that featured the Rosenberg kids. It was written and directed by their daughter, i.e. the granddaughter of the Rosenberg children. The Rosenberg kids went to "the little, red schoolhouse'", a primary school in Greenwich Village that was staffed and run by committed leftists. The kids were treated protectively by their peers and teachers at the school. The Rosenberg kids didn't have such a bad childhood and any discrimination they suffered was more in their favor than otherwise...... I recently read Anne Applebaum's book, Gulag. In that book, she describes how the children of those arrested for crimes against the state were shunned by their schoolmates and teachers. It didn't do to be seen as close or sympathetic to such children. A lot of them dropped out of school, became delinquent, and ended up in the gulag for non-political crimes........Horseman pass by.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

There are three kinds of people who reside in Hyde Park: 1) murderers, 2) thieves, and their victims.

Mountain Maven said...

"Posner's enormous intellect improved the state of American law that in countless ways."

There are a lot of smart lawyers running loose. Stable and principled, not so much.

Mac McConnell said...

Sessions should appoint him Special Council to investigate Comey, Mueller and everything Clinton.

Christopher said...

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Static Ping said...

I will not miss him.

The concept that his non-political decisions were really good is meaningless. A politicized judiciary is, at best, bringing about its own self-destruction, and, at worst, the destruction of the entire country. The fact that, say, expert witness testimony has been reformed for the better means little when the entire system comes crashing down.

rcocean said...

Here's the good side of Poser. He's telling the truth. He's telling everyone UPFRONT that judges are making decisions "untethered to the Constitution".

So the question is: Why are we giving Federal Judges all this power, if its just about their personal preferences?

So answer me that. And no its not going to change by appointing the "right" judges. We've been trying that since Nixon in 1969.

Gahrie said...

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you that lifelong Republican Chuckles has praised the most outspoken Leftwing judge (except perhaps Tribe) of his generation. Folks this guy doesn't think RBG is politically Leftwing enough.....

Unlike the GOP Establishment types, I am not sad to see him go.

steve uhr said...

FYI. Tribe is not a judge. Too bad. He would have been a great one.

Anonymous said...

What was "sudden" about it? It's in the headline, but the article never says. Is there some journalism etiquette rule I'm not aware of that requires you to give the media a head's up that you're retiring before you actually retire? Sheesh, the guy's 78. That's not "sudden." That's, "You're lucky you didn't die first."

hombre said...

Posner is just one of many judges whose ego outweighed the law he was sworn to uphold. A moral relativist dressed up like a judge is still a moral relativist.

His sour grapes observations about the qualifications of members of the Supreme Court reflect the lack of discernment and grace consistent with his performance as a jurist in recent years.

Yancey Ward said...

I always have had the impression that Posner shaped his decisions on the political cases in which he ruled based on what he thought the sitting president would like and would lead that president consider him for promotion to SCOTUS. After Bush beat Gore, however, I think Posner realized he would not get a chance from Bush. By 2009, he had simply become too old for Obama to appoint him.

walter said...

Graceful exit: "Good luck with that."

Robert Holmgren said...

Seems to identify with his tribe. Nothing wrong with that. Something the majority population ought to consider.

rcommal said...

Of course, as always, I could be wrong; that said, I think that this might be Althouse's earliest post referencing Posner, or, at least, something akin to it:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2004/05/misreadings.html

reader_iam

Jeff Teal said...

Posner apparently did not understand that he is not the King and that the only qualifications for a seat on the SCOTUS is to be picked by the elected executive of the People and approved by the senate.If he can not get that right what other flaws in his reasoning are hidden by pleasing and flowery words.

James K said...

My recollection as to why he was never nominated is that after Bork, presidents believed that no one, or at least no conservative, with such a huge 'paper trail' could get confirmed. Since he couldn't do anything about the paper trail, he decided to do something about the 'conservative.' He didn't seem to realize that made him unreliable to both sides.

MadisonMan said...

He's pushing 80. I hope he enjoys the reduction in workload.

sykes.1 said...

If American law is confused. it is largely because of Posner and his ilk. He is on record as saying that the Constitution does not regulate US law.

rhhardin said...

I retired suddenly in a downsizing, but continued doing the same thing anyway, just for no pay.

Judges can do the same thing online.

Chuck said...

Gahrie said...
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you that lifelong Republican Chuckles has praised the most outspoken Leftwing judge (except perhaps Tribe) of his generation. Folks this guy doesn't think RBG is politically Leftwing enough.....

Unlike the GOP Establishment types, I am not sad to see him go.

What a load of typical garbage. Posner was nominated by Reagan to the Seventh, and for years was probably the most influential conservative economic (and antitrust) theorist in the federal judiciary.

But Posner was a libertarian at heart, and not a conservative, which was demonstrated in his tolerance of expanding abortion rights and ultimately in promoting same-sex marriage. The latter of which I condemned, mentioning Posner by name in my condemnation, on these comments pages.

But your branding Posner as a "liberal" judge betrays such an ignorance of Posner's record that I don't see much hope in having any sort of intelligent discussion with you. Maybe this old article from The Atlantic will help you get this right the next time that you make the mistake of proving the old line that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/to-judge-richard-posner-gun-control-is-a-joke/266323/

Rick Turley said...

Some excellent news to start the holiday weekend.

Fernandinande said...

Mr. Majestyk said...
It was very odd to see his descent into left-wing result-orientedness.


An activist judge is like an activist accountant.

Gahrie said...

But your branding Posner as a "liberal" judge betrays such an ignorance of Posner's record

No judge who feels it is appropriate to interject their own opinions into the law can truly be a conservative or a libertarian.

Unknown said...

"I think [the Supreme Court has] reached a real nadir," Posner said [in an appearance last year]. "Probably only a couple of the justices, (Stephen) Breyer and (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg, are qualified. They're OK, they're not great"

That this persons judgement was the basis of the outcome of thousands of judicial cases screams for term limits.

Molly said...

The fact that he resigned effective immediately seems a little strange to me. I wonder if he got some kind of medical diagnosis that called into question his mental capacity, and thought, "I can't participate in any further work, lest the court's decisions would be called into question."

Maybe it is not nice of me to factlessly speculate on this. Can anyone suggest a different reason for an immediate resignation?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

All the liberals seem to vote as a bloc on almost every single issue.

Probably because they actually put something called "thought" into deciding the cases - rather than the conservative vision of remaking society into whatever previous form that they think it ought to be.

Gospace said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
All the liberals seem to vote as a bloc on almost every single issue.

Probably because they actually put something called "thought" into deciding the cases - rather than the conservative vision of remaking society into whatever previous form that they think it ought to be.


Just want to let you know you've got that completely reversed as to what happens. I still can't find the penumbra or emanation or invisible ink between the lines that redefines marriage as between a man and a man or woman and woman rather then the previous definition since the before the Constitution was even written of one man and one woman. But it is completely visible to the liberal justices who decided to remake society in their own image.

Chuck said...

Gahrie said...
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you that lifelong Republican Chuckles has praised the most outspoken Leftwing judge (except perhaps Tribe) of his generation. Folks this guy doesn't think RBG is politically Leftwing enough.....

And then...

Gahrie said...
...
No judge who feels it is appropriate to interject their own opinions into the law can truly be a conservative or a libertarian.

Posner is, by any reasonable account, a lousy conservative. He's pro-abortion rights. He's pro-SSM.

But he's been more pro-gun rights than just about any other federal Article III judge you could name. I don't know how to categorize him, but "liberal" is not correct. "Libertarian" is as good a label as there could be.

And, Gahrie, who is the "Leftwing judge" you identified as "Tribe"? If it is Harvard Lawprof Lawrence Tribe, he's not a judge and has never been a judge. I don't know of any prominent judges named Tribe.

You seem to spew this mindless chatter without thinking.