Reflections on Judging. By Richard A. Posner. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013. 370 pp. $29.95 cloth.

Published date01 September 2014
Date01 September 2014
might show new perspectives that contribute to the feminist
critiques of rape reform that Corrigan identifies early in the book
about professionalization, funding issues, and neoliberal ideology.
The unavoidable conclusion of Up Against the Wall is that the
emphasis on criminal prosecutions of rape has short-circuited
the movement against sexual violence. The question begged by the
accumulation of evidence of failure in Corrigan’s work is how to
conceptualize “success” in light of this quandary. While feminists
may not have specifically “theorized” sexual violence adequately in
recent decades, feminist critique and socio-legal methods do offer
rich resources to argue the limits of the mainstream approaches
described in the book and move beyond them. Taken as a whole,
the study confirms the need to reinvigorate feminist identified
coalitions to mobilize resistance and alternatives to conservative
reactions and strategies currently deployed in response to sexual
Reflections on Judging. By Richard A. Posner. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 2013. 370 pp. $29.95 cloth.
Reviewed by Jason E. Whitehead, Department of Political Science,
California State University, Long Beach.
From his perch at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit, Judge Richard A. Posner has churned out more books in
the last decade than most academics write in their entire careers.
His books on diverse subjects like catastrophic risk (Posner 2004),
intelligence and counter-terrorism (Posner 2005, 2006, 2007), and
the financial crisis (Posner 2009, 2010) reveal a remarkable facility
for analyzing complex systems. This same facility is evident in
Posner’s recent work on judging. Indeed, both How Judges Think
(Posner 2008) and the present volume approach the federal judicial
process by describing and analyzing its complex interactions and by
proposing solutions to manage this complexity. Reflections on
Judging takes a more personal approach. Its analysis of the federal
judiciary is “mixed with personal recollections, references to a
number of [Posner’s] own judicial opinions, and recommendations
to judges and judicial administrators” (p. 11). In the end, Judge
Posner succeeds in describing judicial complexity and proposing
some moderate solutions, but his overall diagnosis of the problem is
overly empiricist.
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