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. 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 ?
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.
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?
Judge Richard Posner wrote in his opinion that under the accommodation, "[T]here is no suggestion that Notre Dame is involved at all in Aetna's and Meritain's contraception coverage," according to Religion Dispatches.
Judge Richard Posner, for example, has argued that constitutional theory is a waste of time, ideologically motivated, and useless to judges.
Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, hit the backers of the ban the hardest.
See Richard Posner, The Bluebook Blues, 120 Yale L.
Potential winners for economics include Sam Peltzman and Richard Posner of the University of Chicago for their research on theories of regulation.
Judge Richard Posner wrote that "successor liability is appropriate in suits to enforce federal labor or employment laws--even when the successor disclaimed liability when it acquired the assets in question--unless there are good reasons to withhold such liability.
Writing for the majority in Moore, Judge Richard Posner said "the right to 'bear' as distinct from the right to 'keep' arms is unlikely to refer to the home.
Outlining the case, prosecutor Richard Posner said: "For ten years, Richard Lee has been watching young girls.
Outlining the case, prosecutor Richard Posner said: "For 10 years, Richard Lee has been watching young girls.
Writing, for the court, Judge Richard Posner noted that the idea of limiting guns to only self-defeuse in the home would make no sense, and reasoned that "A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.