Cover: The Federal Judiciary: Strengths and Weaknesses, from Harvard University PressCover: The Federal Judiciary in HARDCOVER

The Federal Judiciary

Strengths and Weaknesses

Product Details


Print on Demand

$41.00 • £35.95 • €37.95

ISBN 9780674975774

Publication Date: 08/14/2017


464 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Add to Cart

Educators: Request an Exam Copy (Learn more)

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

[Posner’s] persistent assault on the sanctimony and pomposity of federal judicial culture is acutely entertaining, signaling to some of his more arrogant colleagues that they’re not as important or intelligent as they might think… His frank irritability is strangely charming, and charmingly strange. The federal judiciary has lost a maverick but gained a needed detractor.—Allen Mendenhall, The Los Angeles Review of Books

The book is an interesting and boldly written tour of the judicial branch of the federal government.—Thomas Filbin, Arts Fuse

[Posner’s] call to arms against originalism and outdated procedures in the American judicial system are as urgently relevant as they have ever been… The Federal Judiciary is very much worth reading. Posner demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that originalism is a bankrupt legal philosophy. He reminds us that eighteenth century Americans could not foresee NSA spying, lethal injections, or public sector unions… Posner demonstrates as well that Justice Scalia, the emperor of originalism, had no clothes. Indeed, Posner cites several cases in which Scalia abandoned originalism when it got in the way of a result he preferred.—Glenn C. Altschuler, The Huffington Post

Persuasive… Serious-minded readers who relish an intellectually challenging read…will appreciate Posner’s reasoning.Publishers Weekly

Posner’s newest book is a delightfully iconoclastic critique of ideas many judges and academics hold dear, full of interesting, original, and wide-ranging claims for reform in the federal judiciary and law school teaching.—Victoria Nourse, author of Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy

In this book on the federal judiciary, Judge Posner takes aim at every sacred legal cow: the Supreme Court and its Justices; law schools; the existence, even desirability, of apolitical judges. His critique of the federal bench as dangerously enthralled to backward-looking judicial standpattism will be controversial, as will his proposals for reform, but they cannot be ignored.—William D. Popkin, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Photograph of the book Fearless Women against red/white striped background

A Conversation with Elizabeth Cobbs about Fearless Women

For Women’s History Month, we are highlighting the work of Elizabeth Cobbs, whose new book Fearless Women shows how the movement for women’s rights has been deeply entwined with the history of the United States since its founding. Cobbs traces the lives of pathbreaking women who, inspired by American ideals, fought for the cause in their own ways