Thursday, July 7, 2011

SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts criticizes legal scholarship for being out of touch with practicing bar

From the American Constitution Society blog:

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. at the recent Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference grabbed a few relatively easy applause lines – by knocking the work of law professors.

Specifically Roberts claimed that legal scholarship is not relevant to the work of lawyers and judges, saying he is on the same page with Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, who believes there is a great “disconnect between the academy and the profession.”

Roberts continued, “Pick up a copy of any law review that you see, and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria, or something, which I’m sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, but isn’t of much help to the bar.”

Roberts added that he doesn’t necessarily think anything is wrong with such an approach, albeit a relatively irrelevant one. “If the academy wants to deal with the legal issues at a particularly abstract, philosophical level,” Roberts continued, “that’s great and that’s their business, but they shouldn’t expect that it would be of any particular help or even interest to the members of the practice of the bar or judges.”

CJ Roberts' full remarks can be heard heard (and seen) on C-SPAN by clicking here.

Hat tip to the ABA Journal blog.


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