Recommended Titles and Treatises

How judges think

by Richard Posner. Harvard University Press. 2008.
387 pages.

Posner, an appellate court judge and prolific writer, seeks to shed some light on the judicial decision-making at the appellate court levels, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Posner notes that "judges are reticent to talk about judging." This cloaking of the process preserves the "aura of professionalism," but it does not add to the legal profession or public's trust of the judicial branch. Nor does it allow judges to critically analyze the decision-making process. Posner describes various intellectual approaches to judging and the strengths and weaknesses of each. Posner seems to conclude that as much as judges want to believe they base their decisions on legal theory alone, they are a product of their own personal and political leanings.

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