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Barry Friedman @barryfriedman1
, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Here’s a #thread about #judges and #judges’ opinions. I don’t want to name names. I’m hoping Twitterland will get the word out. It’s important, to that small audience at least. It’s about a lack of awareness and humility 1/
So there’s this emerging cadre of judges who write opinions that seem clever and erudite and get some adoring attention. But here’s the thing. At a conference of pretty bright academics of various persuasions and we have two things we seem to all think about those opinions 2/
The first is a little catty; the second is deadly serious. They both matter. (And I’m not naming names of judges or academics but you know who you are.) 3/
The somewhat catty but not inconsequential thing is that we don’t think you are nearly as cute or erudite as you think you are. We cringe reading some of those opinions. 4/
The really serious one echoes Robert Cover, who said legal interpretation happens on a field of pain and death. We think you are utterly disrespectful of litigants who appear before you. The matters they bring to you are of the utmost consequence to them. 5/
Sometimes it is everything, disputes that have overtaken their lives, often is literally their lives, whether they suffer or prosper, go free or are jailed. And you are showing off in your opinions, oblivious to their pain. 6/
I won’t speak for anyone else now but me. You should stop. You are embarrassing yourselves. It is not clear who you are writing to or for, but go for humility. Do your job. Don’t be the story. Just judge, as best as you can. And write it up simply 7/
Try to be aware of the lives you are affecting. That is the weight and burden #judges care dispensing the best approximation of #justice. Give a shot at doing that. Humbly. FIN/
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