Reinhardt on Posner:
In the Michigan Law Review, Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt has a book review of Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner's recent book Not a Suicide Pact. It has lots of interesting tidbits and asides on what Reinhardt thinks of Posner more generally. For example, here is Reinhardt's take on Posner's widely-read book review in the New Republic of Aharon Barak's book on judging:
My quarrel is unfortunately with Posner's conclusions and, more particularly, his judgment. To use his words, I admire his skills as a "technician" but not as a "policy maker" (p. 19). Recently, for example, he wrote a review of a book by the world's leading jurist, Aharon Barak, the former president of the Israeli Supreme Court who teaches with some regularity in his spare time at Yale Law School. Posner ends the review with the incredible statement, "No wonder he frightens Robert Bork." Talk of bad taste, let alone bad judgment. It would be tough to match. Bork is a bitter figure still licking his wounds from his public rejection. Barak is a giant in the law, admired throughout the world. Shame on Posner!This passage at the end is also interesting:
Th[e fact that judges act as policymakers] is why the battle over the appointment of members of the Court is so critical and why the Democrats—belatedly, and possibly too late—may finally be awakening to the importance of the Supreme Court confirmation process, something that the right wing well understood many years earlier.
I feel more confident in judges than in elected officials safeguarding our constitutional liberties. But I would feel even better were there some Warrens, Brennans, Marshalls, Douglases, Blackmuns, or even more Stevenses currently making the decisions that will determine the nature of our rights and freedoms—and indeed the nature of our society—for years to come. I would even feel more comfortable with a Richard Posner making such decisions than a George W. Bush—but not by much.