Why Judges Need to Speak Out About Problems in the Administration of Justice

The Code of Conduct for United States Judges affirmatively encourages federal judges to engage in those extrajudicial activities, such as writing articles, that are intended to help improve the administration of law.  But for most of my first two decades on the bench, I largely avoided this recommendation, partly because, like most judges, I was very busy conducting the business of my court, and partly because, like many judges, I took a certain perverse pleasure in remaining aloof.  But finally the very disturbing tendencies that I observed enveloping the American system of justice got to me, and I felt the … Read more

Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?

The following comes to us from the Honorable Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who sits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Judge Rakoff is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School and will be speaking on a panel today at Columbia on Securities Regulation and Enforcement (see here).

Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope.

Who was to blame? Was it simply … Read more

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