Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Judicial Insights

Two very different articles here, but both give some insight into judging.

First, Professor Michael Dorf explores the difference between methodological diversity and ideological diversity here. He contrasts the confirmation-hearing standard line — judges aren’t swayed by ideology — with Justice Thomas’s observation that they are swayed by methodology . . . and that methodological diversity among judges is a good thing. Professor Dorf wonders if the need for judges to appear non-ideological might engender a “noble lie” that judges are legal robots with no jurisprudential philosophy at all. If that is a lie, is it noble?

Second, Joan Biskupic of USA Today puzzles at some of the cultural references made by US Supreme Court justices at oral argument. Do you know any men today who wear hats to work, read the Daily Racing Form, sneak out to watch weekday baseball games, and settle down at home to read Dale Carnegie and listen to radio serials?  The justices seem to think you might.

(Thanks to HowAppealing.)