Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A More Divided Court

This weekend the New York Times published an article showing that the frequency with which Chief Judge Lippman dissents is markedly higher than either of his two most recent predecessors. In fact, according to the article, Chief Judge Lippman's 15 dissents over this past term nearly matches that of the total number dissents authored by Chief Judge Kaye over her 16 years on the bench.  That there has been an increased frequency in dissents under the Lippman Court, however, is not new.  Judge Lippman himself has previously spoken about his philosophy at the Court of Appeals.  In an article last year year he stated, "I am a result-oriented person . . . and the result I am looking for is not necessarily unanimity.”  What this article adds is that according to recent research by Professor Vincent Bonventre, Judge Lippman's dissents reflect his "staunchly liberal" positions regarding the rights of criminal suspects and the injury claims of plaintiffs.  It also depicts Judge Lippman as leading a 3-judge liberal minority intent on either making their policy positions known to the Legislature and the public, or influencing future decisions.  For the full article click here. 

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