Share this

Reflections on Judging, Richard A. Posner

Reviewed by David Klein

BUY

 

Richard Posner’s new book is occasionally frustrating but eminently readable and ultimately highly rewarding. Apparently aimed at several different audi­ences (judges, lawyers, scholars, the general public), it is wide‐ranging and loosely organized, containing critiques of judicial opinions and scholarly writ­ings, advice to judges on opinion writing and the conduct of trials, historical overviews of the courts’ operations, an evisceration of the Bluebook, and a brief autobiography, among other things. There is evidence of haste in the book’s composition, and it is hard to shake the feeling that it would be stronger if more time had been taken with it. Yet it offers an abundance of insights and a compelling message, all delivered with verve, humor, and even passion.

Two large themes run through the book. One is complexity, both in law, including the law that judges produce, and in the world from which cases emerge. The other is the contest between “formalism” and “realism” in judging, where realism, advocated by Posner, has at its core “the idea that in many cases, and those the most important, the judge will have to settle for a reasonable, a sensible, result” (p. 6). Linking

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Developments in Beijing

The Varieties of Collective Financial Statecraft: The BRICS and China
LESLIE ELLIOTT ARMIJO

Chinese Thinking on the South China Sea and the Future of Regional Security
FENG ZHANG

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS