Danger: Judges Blogging

My second post for the CBA’s National Magazine is up. It deals with the question of whether judges should refrain from blogging, prompted by an ongoing controversy over a blog post by an American judge, Richard G. Kopf, in which he recommends that the U.S. Supreme Court “stfu”. This controversy has now reached the mainstream press, as this article in the LA Times attests. But, while our instincts (especially in Canada, where we are generally more inclined to approve of and protect the secrecy and reserve of the judiciary than our American friends) might suggest that judges should refrain from thinking out loud on public platforms such as blogs, my post argues that things are not clear-cut.

UPDATE: Judge Kopf has decided to continue blogging, after a reflection process he outlines here. The key passage is this:

I care deeply about federal judicial transparency, I don’t see much of that and if I quit there would be even less of it and none of it from federal district judges. The implicit assumption of the thoughtful lawyer who wrote me is that mystery and mythology are better for the legal profession and the judiciary than transparency, particularly when the transparency revealed is raw. I profoundly disagree.

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.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: