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Judge Richard Posner On SCOTUS: ‘The Supreme Court Is Awful’ - Appellate Practice News

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Appellate Practice News

Posted on: Nov 9, 2016

By Libby Yin Goodknight, Krieg DeVault LLP

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit is in the press again, this time for his comments regarding the U.S. Supreme Court. During an appearance at a Chicago bookstore in connection with a new biography on the jurist, Judge Posner was quoted as calling the Supreme Court “awful” and suggested that none of the Justices were qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court except for Justice Ginsberg and Justice Breyer. More here.

Judge Posner subsequently clarified his remarks, explaining that what he really meant to question was whether the current members are “good enough to be a Supreme Court Justice.” More here.

In a written statement, Judge Posner wrote:  

"There are something like 1.2 million American lawyers, some of whom are extremely smart, fair minded, experienced, etc. I sometimes ask myself: whether the nine current Supreme Court Justices (I’m restoring Scalia to life for this purpose) are the nine best-qualified lawyers to be Justices. Obviously not. Are they nine of the best 100? Obviously not. Nine of the best 1,000? I don’t think so. Nine of the best 10,000? I’ll give them that.

I know I said some harsh things in my bookstore talk about the Supreme Court and the Justices. I stand by all that. I think the Court is at a nadir. I don’t think it’s well managed and I don’t think the Justices are doing a good job. Of course that is not a case that I can make in a bookstore talk. I am writing a book about the federal judiciary which contains a chapter of more than one hundred pages setting forth my views of the current Court and my grounds for those views. So stay tuned."

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