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Richard Posner Retires from Appellate Court
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Richard Posner

Summary: Appellate judge Richard Posner announced his plan to retire from the court of appeals and focus on teaching and publishing.

Highly-recognized appellate judge Richard A. Posner announced his retirement from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Posner, 78, is one of the most known appellate judges. He is also a teacher and productive writer while on the bench and off it. He has been part of the 7th Circuit in Chicago for almost 36 years.

  
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Posner said, “I am proud to have promoted a pragmatic approach to judging during my time on the Court, and to have had the opportunity to apply my view that judicial opinions should be easy to understand and that judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case. I look forward to continuing to teach and publish, with a particular focus on social justice reform.”

When he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the bench back in 1981, he was seen as a conservative pick for his views on domestic surveillance, concealed carry bans, and audio-recording police in public. However, he also supported the legalization of marijuana and voted in favor of same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

In a 2014 Daily Law Bulletin interview, Posner discussed his view of the Supreme Court. He is probably the most cited federal appellate judge in the country but had no intention or goal of being part of the Supreme Court. He said, “It’s not a real court. It’s a political court.”

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He has written a number of books and articles on an array of topics, in addition to over 3,300 opinions. The topics have included adoption, public intellectuals, the 2000 presidential election ballot recount, President Bill Clinton’s scandalous affair with Monica Lewinsky, and domestic intelligence.

Posner has also helped out in other courts, serving as a trial judge in civil and criminal cases. Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the 7th Circuit called his impact on the justice system as “immeasurable.” She added. “For more than 50 years, Judge Posner has been one of the leading public intellectuals in the United States – indeed, in the world. He is one of the most distinguished people to ever sit on the federal bench. His opinions have had an impact around the world. He has produced an unparalleled body of scholarship – books, articles, and public commentary – covering virtually every legal topic that can be imagined.”



He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University in 1959 and then went on to receive his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1962. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Judge William J. Brennan Jr. for one year and then joined the Federal Trade Commission as an assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman.

In 1965, Posner became an assistant to then-U.S. solicitor general Thurgood Marshall, who went on to become a Supreme Court justice. After two years with Marshall, Posner accepted a job as the general counsel to a presidential task force on telecommunications policy.

He went on to teach law at Stanford from 1968 to 1969 before beginning a teaching career at the University of Chicago Law School. He started teaching there full-time and eventually went down to a part-time professor.

In 1977, Posner helped found Lexecon Inc., an economic consulting firm. In 2008, the firm merged with Competition Policy Associates. Once he joined the 7th Circuit, he was no longer part of Lexecon.

He was the appeals court’s chief judge from 1993 to 2000.

Do you think Posner will pop up occasionally in the legal industry? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about Richard Posner, read these articles:

Photo: nytimes.com



 

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