Law professor Benjamin Barton has a book titled The Lawyer-Judge Bias in the American Legal System, which he discusses in an interview here. At the outset he discusses “public choice” or “New Institutional” economics, viewing all actors including bureaucrats as self-interested utility maximizers. But the issue he actually seems to be discussing is one of class/caste solidarity and sympathy. He points out that most judges are former lawyers, but the fact that they are no longer lawyers means that a homo economicus judge should be indifferent to those things which only affect lawyers rather than judges. Barton actually seems to be agreeing with Sotomayor that the personal background a judge brings is important to their decisions, and disproportionate representation of certain groups results in bias. Such thinking could also lend support to Roman Hruska’s argument that the mediocre should be represented on the judiciary.

More evidence for this idea regarding judges here.

Advertisements