August 31, 2007
Judge Jacobs Shows Some Common Sense
Judge Jacobs, Chief Judge of the Second Circuit, started Court watchers when he dissented from a First Amendment decision of a panel of his own court by noting that he could not and would not make any legal arguments against those in the majority because he had "not read [the majority opinion]." He thought the case silly, "years of litigation over $2," and he was busy. At stake was a remark made in a college newspaper in 1997. Judge Jacobs has long argued that many cases in the federal courts, especially those over federal jurisdiction or other constitutional minutiae, make only lawyers, judges, and law clerks happy at the expense of judicial time and sensible doctrine. A voice in the wilderness.
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