An interesting interview with Judge Posner

October 25th, 2011


“I don’t have a big need to be in the office,” Posner said. “I have to come in several times a week to pick up stuff, and, of course, if I’m sitting I have to be here.”

“I’m one of the very few judges to have my law clerks call me by my first name, because I don’t want them to think of me as anything special,” Posner said. “I don’t want to live in a cocoon where I’m surrounded by flatterers.”

“I tell them, ‘You don’t have to pussyfoot; you don’t have to be polite. If you think I’m wrong, then say I’m wrong. I’m often wrong,'” Posner said. “I’m mistake-prone, and I tell them that.”

Posner said after living in his home for 42 years, he has accumulated “literally thousands of books.” He is immersed in “a very interesting book” by Ron Suskind, “Confidence Men,” about President Barack Obama‘s economic advisers.

Posner said he had not planned to be a judge, and when he was approached about the position, he hesitated. But after 30 years, he is still happy, despite knowing he has made mistakes.

“Because American law is very confused, you can’t avoid mistakes,” Posner said. “I’m sure I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but if one is bothered by that, you can’t do the job. If you take it too seriously and are too concerned that you’re making mistakes, then it just becomes unbearable.”