Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Posner Blogging at Leiter’s Page

I should also note that Judge Richard Posner is guest blogging this week at Brian Leiter’s page. Judge Posner is one of the true giants of the legal field, and certainly one of the most unusual judges around. While sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, he still teaches law at the University of Chicago and continues to publish widely in the law journals. He is a libertarian, and is the foremost scholar and originator of the economics and law theories that have revolutionized legal theory over the last few decades. It is extremely rare that you find a sitting judge so willing to share his views on virtually anything, but Judge Posner is willing to share them on almost everything. Read Leiter’s introduction of his guest blogger for more information on his legal career and his approach to the law, and definitely take the time to read Posner’s thoughts. Agree or disagree with them, there is little doubt that he is among the finest minds we have.


  1. #1 Aaron M
    December 28, 2004

    Posner also shares a blog with UChicago colleague Gary Becker (Nobel Econ 1992).

  2. #2 linnen
    December 28, 2004

    Given his dubious defense of Bush vrs Gore (quick resolution needed to Constitutional crisis, if I remember correctly), I do not consider his writings as worth my time.
    I am not a lawyer nor a legal expert and I am liberal for the most part, so your mileage may vary.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    December 28, 2004

    Given his dubious defense of Bush vrs Gore (quick resolution needed to Constitutional crisis, if I remember correctly), I do not consider his writings as worth my time.

    That seems rather irrational to me. I haven’t read his defense of Bush v. Gore, and I suspect that you haven’t either, based on your statement. To conclude based solely on the fact that he defended something you didn’t like, for reasons you haven’t examined, that therefore nothing else he says is worth reading, is quite silly. So is the corollary implication that only those who agree with you are worth your time. I’m sure there are many places where I would disagree with Posner; that hardly makes him not worth my time.

  4. #4 linnen
    December 28, 2004

    Which is why I stated IANAL and also said your mileage may vary. I was not demanding that you agree. I should have written more as to why I think as I do, but it was 5 years ago so he was the only legal guy that stood out to be remembered.
    I have only read his synopsis of his argument. I mainly read the arguments against the final Bush vrs Gore decision simply because more legal papers were written on that side. I never found that book which had a bunch of articles, both pro- and con-, on the decision. I believe that there was only one other legal expert that wrote an article that supported the decision. But we are not talking about giving weight to majority/minority opinions.

    Back to Posner, what I could find of his explaining his position did not make sense to me, a layman. Articles of his concerning later decisions have yet to convince me to think otherwise.
    The article he wrote about the Eldred vrs Ashcroft copyright decision, for example. I am a techie, so again your mileage may vary, but I just could not find anything in his writing to cause me to think ‘He and the Justices might have a point here’. There was nothing written that made sense, logically or legally, to think that the perpetual moving of goal-posts for the release into public domain served the public or the national good.

    So, at this point, I fail to see why I need to go out of my way to read his opinion of subjects not in my field of interests. And I am pretty sure that I will disagree with him on legal stuff impacting both technical fields and economics, but I will still read his articles on those subjects if only to find out the ‘reasoning’.
    I would place Posner with Chomsky. Both are scholars that produced ‘revolutionary’ new theories in their respective fields, I just cannot shake the impression that both were just ‘blowing smoke’.

    I’d rather be reading the 2004 re-issue of von Neumann and Morgenstern’s ‘Theory of Games and Economic Behavior’ that I got for Christmas. But that’s just my opinion.

  5. #5 raj
    December 30, 2004

    I have to admit, the more I read of Posner’s commentary over at Leiter Reports, the more I tend to believe that he is little more than a bloviator. More than a few of his opinions as stated there border on the idiotic.

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