Judiciary

Posner has 'absolutely no desire' to join SCOTUS, which 'isn’t a real court'


Judge Richard Posner gets a lot of attention for his opinions and his writing, but he’s not looking to leverage his fame to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posner explained why he isn’t interested in an interview with the Daily Beast about his compulsive writing habits. “First, I’m too old,” Posner said. “I’m 74 and they don’t appoint people my age.”

The reviewer notes that Posner sounds “peppy,” spurring the Chicago-based federal appeals judge to elaborate.

“Well, I don’t like the Supreme Court,” Posner says. “I don’t think it’s a real court. I think of it as basically … it’s like a House of Lords. It’s a quasi-political body. President, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court. It’s very political. And they decide which cases to hear, which doesn’t strike me as something judges should do. You should take what comes. When you decide which case to hear it means you’ve decided the cases ahead of time.

“Also, because I’m a compulsive writer, I like to write. … If you sit with eight other people [like the Supreme Court] you only get one-ninth of the cases to write. I’m not interested in that. Now the Supreme Court justices write very, very few majority opinions. Last year they saw 74 cases. Divide that by nine and that’s a little more than eight opinions a year. That’s ridiculous! I write around 90 opinions a year.”

Posner says Supreme Court justices do boost their totals through dissenting and concurring opinions, but they don’t attract much interest. “I just wouldn’t enjoy the Supreme Court,” Posner says. “Absolutely no desire to be on it.”

Posner also reveals in the interview that he works from home at least half the time, and one reason is his cat, Pixie. “I’m a very big cat person,” Posner says. Pixie is affectionate and “her little face falls” if Posner or his wife leaves the house. “The cat wants us at home,” he says.

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