Thank You!

Great thanks to Doug Berman for noting the birth of this blog and his kind comments.  See Welcome to the blogosphere Judge Richard Kopf via “Hercules and the Umpire.

In the same vein, I very much appreciate the encouraging remarks of  Howard Bashman in How Appealing.

Also, to Professor, and retired United States District Judge, Nancy Gertner, special thanks for taking the time to write to me about an asymmetry in the judicial role at the summary judgment stage of discrimination cases.  Why is that judges write less frequently and without much detail when denying summary judgment motions in discrimination cases as contrasted with the typical practice of writing opinions full of citations and heavy with facts when granting summary judgment?   Her thoughts are intriguing and merit further exploration.

In addition, I especially appreciate Professor Ross Davies taking the time to caution me on the proper use of artwork and photographs.   Good advice from a thoughtful person!

Finally, one of the commentators on Professor Berman’s blog expressed the thought that I am one of the dozen worst district judges in our country. That commentator has a lot of company.   Several years ago, a radio guy named me as “Butthead of the Month”  for one of my decisions.   And, you should have seen the e-mails I received after my decisions in both of the partial-birth abortion decisions that ended up in the Supreme Court.  (I compiled a list of the top ten, and perhaps I will publish it some day.)  In any event, I appreciate both positive and negative comments and thank everyone for doing so.

RGK

First Principles: The trial courtroom is not an abstraction

As I think about trying to discover the proper judicial role for the federal trial judge, it is helpful to remind myself that the courtroom is not an abstraction. It is a real place inhabited by flesh, blood and bones–including, all too frequently,  abject sorrow, seething anger, palpable hatred and unimaginable depravity.  Too often, when viewed from the appellate bench–and most particularly the Supreme Court–the trial courtroom is imagined in much the same way as Monet imagined his gauzy garden.

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