I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Richard Posner on judges as “cognitive misers”

Thinking is costly to the thinker in the sense of being difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating. People economize on thinking by using shortcuts, deferring to expert opinion (even if that requires an arbitrary choice between competing experts), or changing the subject– in the case of judges, substituting a legalistic approach that they understand for a technologically informed approach that they would find difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating to understand and apply.  A psychological literature… describes people as “cognitive misers,” and … the term [has been applied] to the judges of the Federal Circuit

Richard Posner, in the process of describing failings he sees in the process of judging, in the book Reflections on Judging.

This is a fascinating book so far. His examples of what goes awry with judging are very specific, and include naming names.  For instance, he thinks textualist approaches are pretty useless.

More about it later.

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