Judge Richard Posner Says ‘No Value’ In The Constitution Of The United States

Becky Padilla

There's "absolutely no value…to a judge…studying the Constitution," says Judge Richard A. Posner, a Federal judge for the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This judge's job is to uphold the very document he is calling worthless. This judge pledged an oath to "support and defend" the Constitution when he took office.

This judge has apparently changed his mind.

"I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries—well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post-Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today. David Strauss is right: The Supreme Court treats the Constitution like it is authorizing the court to create a common law of constitutional law, based on current concerns, not what those 18th-century guys were worrying about."

"In short, let's not let the dead bury the living."

Granted, he declared his beliefs decades after declaring the oath all judges must declare:

"I, Richard Posner, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Maybe it had been so many years since he'd done it, he forgot what he was supposed to be doing.

Maybe if Broyde had known Posner thought so little of the document that founded this nation and all it stands for, he would not have recommended him for a job to rule on the constitutionality of the laws of the Republic. It must be mentioned that a nomination for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States would have been offered to him by the power of the very Constitution Richard Posner considers worthless.

Additionally, knowing "the Supreme Court is the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress, and the highest law of all—the Constitution," Posner probably would have turned down a nomination anyway.

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]