Richard Allen Posner

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Posner, Richard Allen

(pōz`nər), 1939–, American jurist and author, b. New York City, grad. Yale (A.B., 1959), Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1962). He clerked for Supreme Court Justice William BrennanBrennan, William Joseph, Jr.,
1906–97, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1956–90), b. Newark, N.J. After receiving his law degree from Harvard, he practiced law in Newark.
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 and was an assistant at the Federal Trade Commission (1963–65) and to the solicitor general (1966–68) before becoming an associate professor (1968) at Stanford Law School and a professor (1969) at the Univ. of Chicago Law School. Remaining at Chicago as a senior lecturer, he was appointed (1981) to the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and served (1993–2000) as its chief judge; he retired from the court in 2017. Unconventional, influential, and pragmatically conservative as a judicial activist and a legal theorist, Posner is especially known for his advocacy of an economic approach to law, which he pioneered in the 1970s.

One of the most important, productive, and controversial figures in American jurisprudence, Posner has written over 500 articles, more than 50 books on a wide range of subjects, and almost 3,000 majority opinions for his court. His books include Economic Analysis of Law (1972; 9th ed. 2014), Antitrust Law (1976), Law and Literature (1988), Problems of Jurisprudence (1990), Sex and Reason (1992), The Federal Courts (1996), Catastrophe: Risk and Response (2004), Preventing Surprise Attacks (2005), Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency (2006), and Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary (2016). In a repudiation of some of his former opinions, A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression (2009) proposed that overreliance on deregulation and reckless monetary policies contributed significantly to the crisis, and faulted conservative economists for blindness to the subprime lending problem. The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy (2010) also looks critically at the same crisis, taking a longer view of the system and of issues of economic collapse and gradual recovery. Reflections on Judging (2013) analyzes judicial changes since he became a judge (1981), and calls for a renewed consideration of context and a commitment to legal realism.


See biography by W. Domnarski (2016).

References in periodicals archive ?
Prosecutor Richard Posner said it would not now be in the public interest to proceed against his daughter.
In a concurring opinion, Appellate Judge Richard Posner said the definition of sexual discrimination has evolved since the Civil Rights Act was adopted.
Wu spent time as a Google fellow and was also a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
Probably the best-known current federal judge who is not a Supreme Court justice is Richard Posner, who has been a judge on the 7th Circuit since 1981.
In June, Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote an article for Slate, an online magazine, expressing scorn for the entire Constitution.
Author Richard Posner, a Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, argues for continuing judicial education to teach judges (as distinct from teaching law students).
The decision for the majority, written by Judge Richard Posner, said the medical benefit of the requirement was "nonexistent" and "cannot be taken seriously as a measure to improve women's health.
It was first mooted [brought up] by libertarian economist and jurist Richard Posner and has subsequently been adopted by assisted suicide advocates around the world.
Bush) to Judge Richard Posner in the 7th Circuit and Judge Bernard Friedman in Michigan (both appointed by Ronald Reagan), they paved the way for a legal framework that values all families.
3d 718, Judge Richard Posner overturned the approval of the settlement of class claims concerning defective windows, describing the proposed settlement as "scandalous.
For example, expressing a common modernist feeling, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge Richard Posner exclaimed last year to an attorney defending Indiana and Wisconsin marriage laws, "How can tradition be a reason for anything?
The world is complex, Richard Posner (1) observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging.