Thursday, November 13, 2014

Posner’s Pragmatism: A Viable Method of Judicial Interpretation

By Joshua Greenfield
Josh Greenfield, a 2014 graduate of Albany Law, did his undergraduate work at Syracuse University studying Art History. Josh has interned at CBS's legal division and the New York Public Employment Relations Board. He has been a contributing member of the Center for Art Law website, writing on various issues in the field of art law. Currently, he is a Legal Fellow with the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at CUNY’s Hunter College.
Josh has been published by the Center previously (See Ginsburg (and sometimes Scalia) on Search and Seizure, Jan.19, 2014.
This paper was prepared for Prof. Bonventre’s Judicial Process Seminar.

How can one argue with a pragmatic approach to judicial interpretation? A pragmatist is, by definition, sensible and reasonable. However, what does this really mean? What makes a decision “pragmatic”? How can pragmatic decisions be “right” or “wrong”?

This paper explores the concept of judicial pragmatism, and how judges like Richard Posner approach the concept. It also examines how judicial pragmatism is defined and how it compares to other methods of judicial interpretation, such as originalism and why it is a viable method of interpretation.
To read the paper, open HERE.