Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Obama’s Fave Judge


Taking a cue from Ed Whelan, I downloaded and read Stuart Taylor’s cover story
on judges for the National Journal.  I agree with Ed that Taylor’s work is
usually perceptive and refreshingly objective.  But Taylor’s effort this day is
sub-par; the cover piece is unimaginitive and even predictable.  One line
nonetheless really surprised me: I did not know that Barack Obama had named
Earl Warren as his model judge. (Taylor says that Obama did.)

Now, it is not surprising that Obama would be attracted to a liberal icon, and
Warren certainly is that.  It is most surprising, however, that the same Obama
who has stated — more than once — that as much as ninety-nine percent of the
Supreme Court’s cases can be, and should be, decided on the basis of technical
legal reasoning would be attracted to Earl Warren.  For not even Earl Warren’s
greatest admirer would accuse him of being interested in standard legal
reasoning — much less suggest that he practiced it.


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