How Judges Think 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Posner's latest book, How Judges Think, is important, if only because it's Posner looking at his own profession from the inside. Two of the chapters, "Judges Are Not Law Professors" and "Is Pragmatic Adjudication Inescapable?," are worth the price of admission by themselves. The book can be read as one long screed against the jurisprudence of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and stands as a refutation to those who believe the category of conservative can lazily be applied to a mind as independent as Posner's.
--Barry Gewen (New York Times online 2008-07-09)
A prolific and brilliant writer, Posner's How Judges Think is perhaps his most illuminating work for its profound, and sometimes polemical, insights into the judicial process...Judge Posner's examination of the issues is thorough, scholarly and riveting. He has written an important book--a must read not just for lawyers, but also for anyone who wants to understand how the inscrutable, and sometimes oracular, process of judging really works.
--James D. Zirin (Forbes.com 2010-06-08)
- Publisher : Harvard University Press; 1st edition (April 30, 2008)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0674028201
- ISBN-13 : 978-0674028203
- Item Weight : 1.6 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.92 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #949,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is the third book by Posner that I have read. All three books were good. Two –including this one—are superb, models of engaged scholarship. (If you haven’t read anything by him before, I recommend you start with Reflections on Judging, 2013.) Posner is It.
Arguing against legalism and various forms of moralism, Posner argues for a restrained pragmatic approach to the law, in line with his models on the bench, especially Holmes (“The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience”), who accepted that the written law only went so far and that beyond that point, the prudent judge crossed from enforcing pre-existing, stringent rules to making new law. Law in action is imprecise but not amorphous. “In our system the law as it is enforced in courts is created by judges, using legal propositions as raw materials.” He does not argue that a judge can make any law he wants. Rather, he argues that in any but the most constrained case, the judge must choose among courses of action that are not automatically (because the law tells the judge exactly what to do) clean --or should I say clear? From this simple premise –that judges are de facto legislators—Posner moves to a critique of many, maybe most academic commentators on the law, and a scathing critique of what is taught in even the best law schools in our country. He has, is in other books, harsh words to say about Justice Scalia’s supposed originalism, which he finds inadequate and self-deceiving –even Scalia admitted that he moved beyond it at times.
If I were a lawyer, I would read this book NOW.
I stopped reading when he referred to individuals as "the whites" and "the blacks" when referring to a case. Honestly, I don't know what I was expecting. I would ask for a refund if I could.
Top reviews from other countries
this provides most important understanding/perspective to anyone facing court.
To the author, PLEASE read Sol Stein's books, especially
"Stein on Writing"
and revise this to make it into a much-greater weapon against abuse, usable by many-more advocates throughout our World!
and for the rest of us:
in my opinion, legalism is part of the /religion/ of the state
( whose "gods" include:
that legalism holds Spirit-of-Justice in contempt now
every-bit as much as it did
when Pontius Pilate convicted Jehoshua/Jesus without evidence,
i have seen to be true.
Spirit-of-Justice equally holds mechanistic legalism in contempt!
The problem is that while our Constitutions pretend we have the right to our own Religions,
when the State's Religion includes legalism,
which holds Spirit-of-Justice in contempt,
then our right to Justice is eradicated by legalism's aggression & prejudice!
Notice that ALL the components of State religion that i identified above, hold /Spirit/ in contempt...
right there is the important consequence of mistakenly assuming that seperation of Church from State means eradication of /Spirit's/ validity/rights from our State...
Spirit is exactly the difference between a corpse and one of us RealLivingLives!!
Yet the established interpretation is that Spirit is needing running-over/destructioneradication, for Legalism's glorification...
Thank you for having written this book,
it may help our world's responsible-Citizenry leverage LivingWorth's rights, someday...
but for the sake of our great-grandchildren's lives, please revise it with as much accessible clarity as possible so that it becomes one of the Great Weapons against institutional despotism currently highjacking our legal-regimes...
( ps: for examples of institutional-despotism, i have been told by a criminal-lawyer that many of the decisions rendered in India are quite illuminating of the fundamental-assumption-errors in our legal-regime )