The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has announced his intention to retire from the federal bench, effective Sept. 2. A statement published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reads:
I am proud to have promoted a pragmatic approach to judging during my time on the Court, and to have had the opportunity to apply my view that judicial opinions should be easy to understand and that judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case
I look forward to continuing to teach and publish, with a particular focus on social justice reform.
As the CDLB article notes, Posner has written more than 3,300 legal opinions, in addition to a "slew" of books on everything from antitrust and the federal judiciary to law and literature and the President Bill Clinton impeachment.
A professor at the University of Chicago, noted for his work on law and economics, Posner was nominated to the federal appellate bench by President Ronald Reagan. Throughout his legal career, he has demonstrated a strong independent streak, often provoking controversy and criticism, particularly in recent years.
Quite a few VC posts have discussed Posner and his work over the years. Here's a sampling.
- Whelan v. Posner—Adler (7/17)
- The post-constitutional world of Richard Posner—Bernstein (4/17)
- Seventh Circuit holds that Title VII forbids anti-gay job discrimination—Carpenter (4/17)
- My Argument with Richard Posner about originalism—Baude (12/16)
- Judge Richard Posner explains why we should "burn all copies of the Bluebook"—Somin (4/16)
- When a Judge criticizes a Justice, it's best if the judge doesn't make mistakes of his own—Adler (6/15)
- Richard Posner on the constitutional right to same-sex marriage—in 1997 versus today—Kerr ( 9/14)
- A response to Judge Richard Posner on Riley v. California—Baude (6/14)
- Posner on Lochner (or Posner v. Posner?)—Bernstein (11/13)
- Richard Posner on the Rise and Fall of Judicial Deference—Somin (11/13)
- Business and the Roberts Court Revisited (Again)—Adler (5/13)
- Posner defends the Electoral College—Adler (11/12)
- Posner's Criticism Is Pretty Weak With this Example From the Scalia & Garner Book—Kerr (9/12)
- Goofiness is in the eye of the beholder—Bernstein (7/12)
Love him or hate him, Posner's work has been consistently provocative and promoted lots of discussion throughout the legal blogosphere. And while he may be retiring from the bench, it's clear we've not heard the last from him. I expect there will be more posts discussing Posner and his work in the years to come.