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All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith Bybee Nov 2012

All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith Bybee

Keith J. Bybee

This paper contains the introduction to the new book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010).

The book begins with the observation that Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether courts operate on the basis of unbiased legal principle or of political interest. This division in public opinion in turn breeds suspicion that judges do not actually mean what they say, that judicial professions of impartiality are just fig leaves used to hide the pursuit of partisan purposes.

Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy ...