Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

One Judge That Doesn't Appear on Short Lists -- and Should

This blog devoted to appellate litigation has an interesting Q&A from August 2004 with Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook. He is not yet 60 years of age, but his name doesn't show up in the popular press as a contender for the Supreme Court. It should. The interview offers something for (nearly) everyone. Judge Easterbrook touches on what OSHA would say about the bottomless death pits in Star Wars as well as how he would use a trap door to dispose of advocates who violate the Court's rules.

Near the end of the interview, Easterbrook revisits his disdain for neologisms like "cyberlaw," written up memorably here as "Cyberspace and the Law of the Horse."

One of Easterbrook's least favorite features of the bench: he can no longer practice law. He comments on topics that occupy his leisure reading (no surprises here). There is a comparison between the Ninth Circuit and the mob that condemned Socrates. Easterbrook comments on the contemporary Supreme Court nomination process. On a related note, his comments from earlier in the interview on Hugo Black are a reprieve from the typical fare we see about today's nomination process:

"Black read widely after his appointment, transcending his roots as a populist from Alabama, and his absolutist approach to constitutional issues--that is, his willingness to take the Constitution seriously as law rather than as aspiration--is admirable. He reached principled decisions and stuck with them as times and politics changed. That's the right thing to do when issuing decisions in the name of an unchanging document."

As is often said, read the whole interview. Even the parentheses include gems. To wit: "(Judges who do not believe in deterrence should become architects or playwrights instead; most of the legal system relies on it.)"

Hat Tip to Newmark's Door.

posted by @ 1:52 PM | General , Supreme Court