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Judge Richard Posner Announces Sudden Retirement: Role Open to Trump Appointment

Goldhedge

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Judge Richard Posner Announces Sudden Retirement: Role Open to Trump Appointment

September 4, 2017
By Brian Thomas


As of Saturday, Judge Richard Posner is retiring from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Posner is easily one of the most influential legal writers of his time. He’s written dozens of books, several hundred academic articles, and some 3,000 legal opinions during the 36 years he’s served as judge.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Posner to the bench on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit back in 1981. Since then, he’s shifted further from the right.


“There’s been a real deterioration in conservative thinking,” he told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking […] I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.”

Calling himself a “pragmatist,” Posner often expressed his belief in the fluidity of law, whose definition changes with the views of the people who uphold it “in accordance with new social needs, attitudes, and authority.”

Rather than a consistent constitution, then, which uphold objective, unchanging, and unalienable human rights, existing law, Posner offers his “pragmatic” interpretation of law, once even suggesting that federal judges do not need to study the Constitution.

The Daily Caller reports:

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced his retirement Friday afternoon, affording President Donald Trump the opportunity to replace a legal titan on the Chicago-based federal appeals court.

[…] “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,” he said in a statement announcing his retirement.

“I don’t know what ‘existing law’ means except views currently held by many judges, lawyers, and politicians,” he wrote for Slate in August. “Those views are likely to be fluid, changeable — in accordance with new social needs, attitudes, and authority. Law means one thing to conservatives, another to liberals. It has no fixity.”​

Posner needs to define law as unchanging, since he’s changed his mind on several issues, such as gay marriage, over the decades. Rather than admit he was sometimes wrong in the past (or in the present), he contends that what’s changed are the views and social needs which comprise, according to him, everything we can know about law.

Then again, Posner has maintained consistently conservative beliefs on certain issues like gun control.

He blasted, in his own unique style, the opinion that citizens do not have a right to arm and defend themselves outside their homes, saying, “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald. It is not a property right — a right to kill a houseguest who, in a fit of aesthetic fury, tries to slash your copy of Norman Rockwell’s painting, Santa with Elves.


President Trump now has the opportunity to appoint a replacement for Posner, one who will please Republicans more often and with more predictably.

Now, we’re all in waiting to see who the big appointee will be.


About Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas lives in Cleveland, where he is part of a program helping elderly and disabled veterans. He has worked in education, journalism, and public relations since his college years at Ashland University
 

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CONgress has yet to approve half of Trumps appointments to date. What makes anyone think they won't also hold up anyone Trump nominates for the position here.
 

the_shootist

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“There’s been a real deterioration in conservative thinking,” he told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking […] I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.”
Sounds like a reasonable man!
 

goldielox1

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A judge shouldn't care what political parties do/think.The only matter they need to concern themselves with is applying specific cases to the laws on the books.
 

Alton

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A judge shouldn't care what political parties do/think.The only matter they need to concern themselves with is applying specific cases to the laws on the books.
Do you mean applying the law on the books to the specific facts of the cases before them?
 

the_shootist

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A judge shouldn't care what political parties do/think.The only matter they need to concern themselves with is applying specific cases to the laws on the books.
You mean like they do in the 9th Circus??
 

gringott

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“There’s been a real deterioration in conservative thinking,” he told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking […] I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.
A real world example of his brilliant legal mind. The guy should have retired a couple decades ago. A political party should not have any effect on the thinking of a judge.