The Volokh Conspiracy

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Which is harder, federal courts or science?


During his talk at our law school's graduation last June, my colleague Eric Posner distinguished between "hard" questions and "super-hard" questions. His example of a "hard" question was federal courts, and his examples of "super-hard" questions were from other disciplines, such as the questions of molecular biology at issue in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics that prompted a controversial concurrence by Justice Scalia.

One theme of the talk was that law school equips lawyers to answer the hard but not the super-hard questions. (You can see the talk here on Youtube, starting at 39:50.)

Anyway, today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, a federal courts case, which included this remark from Justice Breyer:

JUSTICE BREYER: Let me try once more. I did understand all these molecules. I ought to be able to understand this. I don't know if I can. . . .