He says mock trials of fictitious characters don’t “contribute to anyone’s enlightenment.” For Judge Posner, the hobby symptomizes the broader ills of contemporary “celebrity culture.”
“That’s the problem with presidents and Supreme Court justices and billionaires. They think that because they are successful in one sphere they’re experts in everything,” Judge Posner says. Supreme Court justices should stop “preening” and return to “their dignified anonymity,” he says.
But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (happy b-day today!) struck back, and laughed when advised of Posner's critique:
“He’s an odd person to say that, considering the range of his writings, including ‘Sex and Reason,’ ” said Justice Ginsburg, a regular mock trial participant.
Indeed, Judge Posner is among the best-known of the nation’s judges, having been profiled in magazines, contributed to the popular and academic press, and written dozens of books on law, literature, economics and other topics. He also remains a force on the University of Chicago’s law faculty.
At least Posner likes good movies:
Rather than mock trials, the judge prefers modernizing or parodying classic texts. One of his favorites updated a Jane Austen novel from 19th century England to present-day Beverly Hills.
“The movie ‘Clueless’ is a parody of ‘Emma,’” he says, with the Alicia Silverstone character, Cher Horowitz, substituting for Austen’s Emma Woodhouse.