Judge Posner’s mea culpa was a recantation

I wrote here about Judge Richard Posner’s “weak and inappropriate mea culpa,” wherein he declared that he made a mistake in upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law. But now, Judge Posner denies that he is recanting that opinion. In a post on the New Republic’s website called “I Did Not ‘Recant’ on Voter ID laws,” he asserts:

I did not say [in Reflections on Judging] that my decision, and the Supreme Court’s decision affirming it (written, be it noted, by the notably liberal Justice Stevens), were wrong, only that, in common with many other judges, I could not be confident that it was right, since I am one of the judges who doesn’t understand the electoral process sufficiently well to be able to gauge the consequences of decisions dealing with that process.

But in an interview with the Huffington Post on the subject of Reflections on Judging, Judge Posner was asked whether he thinks he “got this one [the ruling in the Indiana voter ID case] wrong.” Posner answered: “Yes. Absolutely.” He went on to say that he thinks the dissenting judge in the case “was right.”

So Judge Posner does say that his decision in the voting ID case was wrong. It’s difficult for me to imagine a clearer recantation.

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