What Law Judges Can Learn from Sports Officiating and Art Criticism

by William D. Popkin

Tags: Statutory Interpretation

Table of Contents (PDF)

172 pp  $30.00

ISBN 978-1-5310-0214-5
eISBN 978-1-5310-0294-7

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In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton tells us that judges have "merely" judgment but does not explain what judgment means. This book provides that explanation. It compares judgment across a range of activities—consumer choices, religion, sports officiating, art and food criticism, and law—with the goal of better understanding legal judgment. After exploring these various modes of comparison, the book concludes that law judging is fundamentally discretionary and uncertain. It then falls to the legal profession to explain to the public, without undermining respect for law, why this is so. In this way, not unlike our perception of the uncertainties that confront sports officials or that pervade scientific research, the public will come to appreciate the struggles that law judges encounter when making judgments.