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Posner and Silberman criticize the Supreme Court

One of the things that impresses me most about Judge Roberts is how his writings show a clear understanding of the limited role of the judicial branch in the Constitutional scheme. Through his opinions, he shows respect for precedent, doesn't substitute personal preference for law, explains his reasoning in a manner that appropriately gives guidance to lower courts, and otherwise follows the rule of law. These are qualities lacking in a majority (and some might argue all) of the Justices of today's Court.

There's an impressive article by Benjamin Wittes in the September issue of The Atlantic. Wittes interviews several lower-court federal judges who proceed to give frank criticisms of today's Supreme Court. Judges Richard Posner and Laurence Silberman even go on the record with their comments. Many of the comments suggest that the problems are more institutional than judge-specific. If so, perhaps we'll be criticizing Justice Roberts on the telepathic version of blogs that will be introduced in 2025—but I'm still young and optimistic enough to hope that he's going to move the Court in the right direction. The article's an absolute must-read. (Benjamin Wittes, "Without Precedent", The Atlantic, Sep. 2005 (subscription required)).



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.