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Federal Judge Suggests Skipping Constitutional Law in School
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Judge Richard Posner

Summary: One federal appellate judge has no respect for the Constitution and instead refers to it as an old, outdated set of rules.

Everyone seems to know who Judge Richard Posner is. He may be one of the most quoted and significant federal appellate court judges in America, perhaps because he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. Posner is extremely critical of American law schools, expressing his criticism in a recent Slate article.

  
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In the article Posner said, “I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries – well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc, of the 21st century.”

See A Chastised Lawyer Lashes Out at Judge Posner.

Posner has since tried to “clarify” his thoughts and explain that people took his words out of context. Whatever his intentions were, to imply that the Constitution isn’t worth studying even for seconds in law school is drastic.

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President Ronald Reagan appointed Posner to the federal bench in 1981 as a “conservative” judge but does not necessarily hold up those values. His dislike for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is quite apparent, noting, “I regard the posthumous encomia for Scalia as absurd.”

Read George Mason University Law School Renamed in Honor of Antonin Scalia.



Professor David Bernstein at the Antonin Scalia Law School proposes Posner’s distaste for Scalia is because he is jealous, “Posner thinks he would be a far better Supreme Court Justice than Scalia was, and he resents that as a ‘lower court’ judge, his writings, though highly influential in their own right, will never get the same attention and accolades as Scalia.”

Posner has specifically rejected the argument of traditional marriage being between a man and a woman as a “tradition of hate.” He has also ruled in Wisconsin on the Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin case that overturned regulations on abortion clinics.

In the end, Posner credits the Constitution and the amendments to a bunch of outdated white guys not worth studying or giving a second thought. So in other words, Posner does not believe in protecting religious freedoms, free speech, the press, the right to keep and bear arms, and the right to be secure. “I don’t believe that any document drafted in the 18th century can guide our behavior today.”

Do you think judges should be well versed in the Constitution? Tell us why in the comments below.

To learn more about Antonin Scalia, read How Will the Death of Justice Antonin Scalia Change the Supreme Court?

Photo: newslocker.com



 

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