Judge Richard Posner was appointed to the bench by former President Ronald Reagan, and has earned a sparkling reputation as a conservative jurist. But Posner, a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, says the current incarnation of the Republican Party has driven him away from conservatism.
In a candid interview with NPR Thursday, Posner opened up about what he sees as a “real deterioration in conservative thinking” over the last decade.
“I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy,” Posner said.
I have to say that I feel the same way as Posner, who is truly an intellectual giant in economics and legal theory.
It used to be that I felt the Republican party was more intellectually driven than the democrats, who would sacrifice the intellectually superior position for expediency, particularly in economic matters.
Exceedingly, the Republicans in power today are sacrificing the intellectual position for the ideological one, and the ideology seems to be based on little more than their personal sense of fairness, tradition, and "the right way to do things" regardless of how that plays out in reality.
Neither side seems willing or able to examine problems objectively and make the hard choices about how to correct them.
I think his words about Scalia are spot on... that guy has gone off the reservation.
Posner eviscerates him in this oped:
In his peroration, Justice Scalia says that "Arizona bears the brunt of the country's illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrant who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy." Arizona bears the brunt? Arizona is only one of the states that border Mexico, and if it succeeds in excluding illegal immigrants, these other states will bear the brunt, so it is unclear what the net gain to society would have been from Arizona's efforts, now partially invalidated by the Supreme Court. But the suggestion that illegal immigrants in Arizona are invading Americans' property, straining their social services, and even placing their lives in jeopardy is sufficiently inflammatory to call for a citation to some reputable source of such hyperbole. Justice Scalia cites nothing to support it.
As of last year there were estimated to be 360,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona, which is less than 6 percent of the Arizona population—below the estimated average illegal immigrant population of the United States. (So much for Arizona's bearing the brunt of illegal immigration.) Maybe Arizona's illegal immigrants are more violent, less respectful of property, worse spongers off social services, and otherwise more obnoxious than the illegal immigrants in other states, but one would like to see some evidence of that.
I did get the opportunity to have oral argument 1999 in front of both Judge Posner as well as Judge Easterbrook. Talk about intimidating ... a third year associate arguing in front of arguably the two most well-known Circuit Court judges in the country. Didn't stop me from engaging in a little excess hyperbole ... I inadvertently referred to "thousands of years of common law" which got the smug little law clerks snickering in the back and Judge Posner pointing out that only a few centuries of common law had elapsed since the Magna Carta. Obviously you need more than two thousand years to refer to thousands in the plural, and clearly I did not have that.
"The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering." Pope John Paul II