Watch Berkowitz debate 4th Amendment search & seizure issues & other core judicial & legal issues w/Judge Richard Posner, Cable & Web

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner: ... old documents [such as the U. S. Constitution] are not going to tell you how to deal with new problems.  

Judge Posner: That was the end of the spittoon. Except the U. S. Supreme Court and Congress have these stupid spittoons. Now, I don’t like this [old] stuff

Judge Posner: There is nothing [in the Constitution] to say that you have to have a warrant- ever.

The Public Affairs show, featuring Judge Posner in Part 1  of a two part series, airs tonight throughout the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm and midnight, on Cable Ch. 21 [CAN TV] (Comcast, RCN or WOW).

Show host Jeff Berkowitz debates and discusses core legal, judicial, political  and constitutional issues with 7th Circuit Court of Appeals federal judge Richard Posner-- as well as his most recent book.

You can also watch the show w/ Judge Posner 24/7 by clicking here.

Judge Posner, one of the first to lead the Law and Economics revolution, starting in the 1970s and who is now a major player in leading the "Legal Realism," revolution, holds his cat-- perhaps with as much affection as he has for Chicago Economics and Legal Realism.

Judge Posner, one of the first to lead the Law and Economics revolution, starting in the 1970s and who is now a major player in leading the "Legal Realism," revolution, holds his cat-- perhaps with as much affection as he has for Chicago Economics and Legal Realism.

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Judge Posner, a President Reagan appointee who has drifted from conservative to self-described moderate, has sat on the appellate court for 35 years, writing more than 3200 judicial opinions.

Prior to coming on the bench, Judge Posner was a University of Chicago Law School Professor for a dozen years, and he has continued to teach at the UChicago Law School while a judge.

He has now written more than 40 books,  300 articles and book reviews covering a broad range of subject areas, including, but not limited to law, economics,sex, judging, technology, public policy, a judge's priors, the U. S. Constitution and politics.

Key aspects of Judge Posner's most recent book, "Divergent Paths, the Academy and Judiciary," are discussed and debated in tonight's show.

An important discussion in the book is that legal formalism, or the traditional approach to law involving applications of precedents, legal reasoning, the common law, statutes and the Constitution to the problem at hand, is what law schools teach.  Yet, according to Judge Posner,  most judges decide cases based on legal realism. That is, the judges, to decide cases, apply a common sense fairness doctrine-- which incorporates the judges' priors covering such things as their politics, religion, approaches to life and various personality traits-- to the facts at hand.

Also discussed with Judge Posner are other aspects of the divergent paths between the Judiciary and the Academy, including the abstract nature of most law schools and their professors and the irrelevance of what those professors do and teach for the practice of law.

Show host Berkowitz and Judge Posner also debate whether Judges interpret the Constitution or create constitutional case law-- which many lawyers and judges then treat as "The Constitution." So, for most judges and attorneys, the real Constitution is simply a collection of judge created constitutional doctrines.

You can also watch the second show with Judge Posner by clicking here.

Quips from tonight's show and scheduled airings of "Public Affairs" in other geographic areas are listed below:

Judge Posner: The only reference to warrants in the 4th amendment is to place restrictions on [warrants]. There is nothing to say that you have to have a warrant- ever.

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Judge Posner: Being a trial lawyer, being a judge, being a government official dealing with legal issues,  there are a lot of jobs for which you need information and those skills for which you are not well trained by law schools.

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Posner: The simplest way for the law schools to change[for the better] would be to hire a significant number of law school professors [coming right] out of practice…people who had practiced law, maybe they were judges, got tired of judging, wanted to do something else, and those are people with very different experiences from [the current hires].

Jeff Berkowitz: Would the ratings [of those law schools] go down from U. S. News and World Report because wouldn’t these people be less apt to publish? Fewer publications, [therefore] they get lower rankings, right?

Judge Posner: Yes

Berkowitz: And U. S. News doesn’t give the law schools any credit for bringing in teachers who would be better at training the students to be better litigators and trial lawyers, right?

Judge Posner: I think that’s true...

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University of Chicago Law School Senior Lecturer Posner: [If I were Chief Justice Roberts and If some federal appeals court judges were not being collegial], I would bring them to Washington, D.C.…chew them out and that would be the end of [the lack of cordiality among the judges on that circuit].

Berkowitz: And Chief Justice John Roberts [who is head of the entire U.  S. Judiciary] never does that?

Judge Posner: No.

Berkowitz: Nobody has ever done that as Chief Justice?

Judge Posner: Not in modern times.

Jeff Berkowitz: Not Chief Justice Rehnquist, nor Berger?

Judge Posner: No, although I think in the old days they got along better.

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Judge Posner: That was the end of the spittoon. Except the U. S. Supreme Court and Congress have these stupid spittoons. Now, I don’t like this [old] stuff

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Berkowitz: The 4th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution does basically say that if you are going to do a search or seizure, it has to be reasonable, and you are saying that is fairly empty?

Judge Posner: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: In terms of providing guidance [as to what is permissible]

University of Chicago Law School Senior Lecturer Posner: That’s right.

Jeff Berkowitz: And, that is your criticism…of [legal] formalism? It is that there is no real guidance as to how to resolve problems, would that be right?

University of Chicago Law School Senior Lecturer Posner: Yes, old documents [such as the U. S. Constitution] are not going to tell you how to deal with new problems.

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The Public Affairs show also airs:

--Tomorrow night in 24 N and NW Chicago Metro Suburbs (Comcast), featuring Judge Posner, at 8:30 pm on:

-----Cable Ch. 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and on

-----Cable Ch. 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

-- and tonight and Wednesday night in Highland Park and Deerfield on Cable Ch. 19 at 8:30 pm

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