Hercules and the Umpire

Readers may have already come across it, but I hadn’t until a few days ago, and in case others haven’t yet, I wanted to recommend a wonderful blog by Richard Kopf, an American federal district court judge, called Hercules and the Umpire. As judge Kopf explains,

I hope the title evokes an image of two poles.  On the north, we have the late great Ronald Dworkin’s all knowing judge, Hercules.  On the south, we have Chief Justice Roberts’ formulation of the judge as umpire.

I am interested in knowing (1) which pole is the better and (2) whether there is a longitude and latitude between those poles that locates the proper role of a federal trial judge.

As this passage suggests, Judge Kopf is a very intellectually curious person. He is also intelligent, humble, and forthright. In a word, he is wise. He also has a much better blogging work-ethic than I do.

If you are interested in judges ― or in the (American) legal system generally ― take the time to read him. It’s well worth your while.

Author: Leonid Sirota

Law nerd. I teach public law at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom. I studied law at McGill, clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, and did graduate work at the NYU School of Law. I then taught in New Zealand before taking up my current position at Reading.

One thought on “Hercules and the Umpire”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: