Tuesday, November 29, 2005

J-Blogs: The Next Big Thing!

We may be entering a new phase in the history of judicial appeals, judicial dissents, judicial arguments, judicial (self-)justification, and judicial loquaciousness. I refer, of course, to judicial blogs -- or, more pithily (for those in the know), to j-blogs or, better yet, j-blawgs. That this -- j-blogging (or j-blawging) -- is the next big thing in the history of the American judicial system is plainly shown by the recent exchange in the New Yorker (October 31, 2005, and December 5, 2005). The first part of this extrajudicial judicial debate began via an intermediary, Jeffrey Toobin. Mr. Toobin interviewed Justice Breyer and reported some of Breyer's views about methods for settling constitutional disputes. See J. Toobin, "Breyer's Big Idea," New Yorker (October 31, 2005). Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, Senior Judge, U.S. District Court, E.D. California, was not pleased by what he saw there. In a letter in the December 5 issue of the same periodical he wrote:
The Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's response to the quotation from my decision excluding the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance seems to suggest that my complaint over the lack of guidance offered by the Supreme Court was a personal one. ... The intention [presumably J. Karlton's], however, was to note an institutional problem. [There is more. But I refrain from further quotation; buy the issue and read for yourselves.]
Now this exchange (between a high judicial luminary and one that inhabits the nether regions of the federal judiciary) in a periodical that is sometimes practically funereal may not strike you as revolutionary. But, my fellow bloggers, au contraire: It is only a matter of time before such extrajudicial judicial argument spills over into widely-read periodicals such as New York's Daily News and, ultimately [horrors!?], into the blogosphere. As one eminent poobah recently said, "What's the point of writing something that no one reads?" Well, as all bloggers know, the best way to reach a world-wide audience is via the world wide web. Hence: the phenomenon of the j-blog is nigh.
  • Yes, I know, I know: Judge Richard Posner has been blogging for some time (with his spiritual kith and kin, the Chicago economist Gary Becker). But Judge Posner, I believe, has refrained from using his blog to defend his judicial opinions. (Am I wrong? I haven't read every blog written by Posner. [In my defense: It is beyond any human being's capacity to read everything written by Posner: Posner's pen moves faster than the eye. Posner himself has supra-human eyes and rapidly-moving word-processing fingers; and the electrical impulses in Judge Posner's brain clearly outrun the speed of light. {The existence of Richard Posner disproves Einstein!}])
  • Post a Comment