The Volokh Conspiracy

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Peter W. Huber, 1952-2021

The sad passing of a brilliant mind.


Peter Huber passed away last week. He was a brilliant thinker, incisive commentator, attorney, and prolific author. He clerked for then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing a young reader's biography of the latter. He was an incredibly impressive person.

In City Journal, Mark Mills writes:

Peter Huber, a long-time senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute, a founding partner in a successful Washington, D.C. law firm; a polymath and prolific author of a dozen consequential books and hundreds of essays and op-eds; influential analyst, intellectual powerhouse, and seer in matters from the role of science in the courts, to telecom competition and environmental regulation, as well as energy and health-care policy—all issues of as central importance now as when he first wrote about them—died on January 8 in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was 68. . . .

It was in these City Journal pages some 14 years ago that Peter wrote "Germs and the City," about the historical, regulatory, and scientific architecture of pandemics. In that essay he warned that "one way or another, germs will contrive to horrify us again, in some very nasty way. A society's only real defense is to stay horrified, well ahead of the curve." And he correctly predicted that a cure, a vaccine, would come much faster using the "codes" in both genetic and computational machines, hence the title of the last book in his canon, The Cure in the Code: How 20th Century Law Is Undermining 21st Century Medicine (2013). . . .

A beautiful mind was taken from the world, but his ideas through the legacy of his words will continue to help illuminate our future. . . .

The Manhattan Institute, where Huber was a senior fellow, offers an additional remembrance, as does Kellogg Hansen, the elite law firm Huber co-founded.

On Twitter, Huber's former colleague Walter Olson offers this remembrance:

He will be missed.

[Post updated and formatting errors fixed.]