On the Seventh Circuit, the reigning champion of inappropriate judicial fact finding is Judge Posner. But it seems his colleague, Judge Easterbrook, wants to get in on the fun. During oral arguments in the Wisconsin Voter ID case, he apparently googled DMV rules:
Judge Easterbrook searched for new DMV rules on IDs on his computer during arguments and said he “only found a press release” #news3
— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) September 12, 2014
I second Rick Hasen’s observation:
Talk about going outside the lower court record for appellate on-the-fly factfinding.
BTW, LawProfs who explain that students should not use laptops in class, because they won’t be able to do so in court–ahem.
At least Judge Easterbrook didn’t ask the attorneys to try out any clothes during the argument.
Update: As several have corrected me, googling the DMV rules is not fact-finding, but determining the law. I have modified the title appropriately.