Archive: October 2023

Neutrality Can Be Maddening to the Public. And to Judges, Too.

Those drawn to careers in law often want to save the world. When we decided on law school, we hoped to wield the armor and lance of the law to ensure civil rights, make people whole, and do justice. Some of us became judges, many accepting a reduction in salary to do public service. […]

Is Disclosure and Certification of the Use of Generative AI Really Necessary?

The news abounds with articles on the promises — and perils — of generative AI (GenAI) […]

What Can Be Done About Backlogs?

No new judgeships have been authorized for the federal courts of appeals in more than 40 years, resulting in a system that is burdened by large caseloads: By 2021, filings […]

John Marshall’s Judicial Robe: Witness to Constitutional History

Over time, Chief Justice John Marshall’s black judicial robe has assumed a status as fabled as his opinion for the Court in Marbury v. Madison — and one that is just as steeped in myth. […]

Plea Bargains: Efficient or Unjust?

The vast majority of state and federal cases end in plea bargains. The practice has eased backlogs and may benefit some defendants — but the trade-offs, some say, are too […]

Judge carrying a huge ball of stress

The State of Judges’ Well-Being: A Report on the 2019 National Judicial Stress and Resiliency Survey

Judges have always faced significant stressors, including the burden of consequential decision-making, exposure to disturbing evidence, and isolation. While every judicial assignment has its own mix of concerns, challenge is […]

Perfecting Jury Trials

Despite deep societal divisions, jury trials remain oases for resolving disputes in a civil, orderly, and deliberative way. In courtroom theaters, jurors daily sort through conflicting and sometimes horrifying evidence. […]

New Ideas About How Judges Think

Political scientists and legal scholars don’t necessarily have the same perspectives when it comes to the study of how judges make decisions. Legal scholars tend to take a more internal […]

Visiting Judges: Going Global

Federal judges within the United States travel to sit on other circuits, but are typically restricted from holding external office or visiting international courts. After they leave the bench, however, […]

Visiting Judges: Riding Circuit and Beyond

The curious phenomenon of visiting judges and its serious benefits to the federal courts There is a curious phenomenon in the federal courts. An attorney recently arguing before the First Circuit […]