Bench Memos

Guess the Judge

On the Volokh Conspiracy, Fourth Amendment expert Orin Kerr begins his characteristically insightful discussion of a Fourth Amendment ruling yesterday with this observation:

I am often filled with a mild sense of both excitement and dread when I learn that Judge [X] has authored an opinion in areas of law that I follow closely. Excitement, because I know it will be fascinating to read. And dread, because I know it will be filled with extensive error-prone dicta on issues not briefed and reasoning that is hard to square with existing precedents.

Can you guess which federal appellate judge Kerr is referring to? Answer below the fold (and, of course, in Kerr’s post).

I’ll add that I haven’t followed this judge’s opinions carefully enough to have independently formed the same impression as Kerr, but I’ve heard similar views from others who have.


Seventh Circuit judge (and Reagan appointee) Richard A. Posner.

I’ve critiqued Posner’s volatile combination of brilliance and sloppiness in this review of his book How Judges Think.

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