This Article explores influences that have shaped Judge Weinstein's judicial behavior. The author argues that Weinstein's conception of the judicial role has been influenced in significant respects by his career as a law professor. Tracing continuities and discontinuities between the roles of a professor and a trial judge, the author concludes that Judge Weinstein manifests both the desire for intellectual autonomy and the consequent lack of regard for institutional accountability that are characteristic of the former role. The Article then seeks to evaluate the judge-centered approach to judicial independence it imputes to Judge Weinstein. The author contends that the desire to give free reign to his extraordinary intelligence and creativity plays a part in judge Weinstein's pursuit or creation of the extraordinary in preference to the ordinary- "litigations" rather than cases-an interpretation that helps to explain certain inconsistencies in his judicial work. The author also considers the possibility that ideology plays a part in judge Weinstein's approach to his role as a federal judge. He arg·ues that there are three interrelated ideas that exercise a consistent(v powerful influence on Weinstein's judicial behavior and that may be thought ideological: access, communication and empathy. He concludes that the dichotomy between independence and ideology in judge Weinstein's work may be false, because independence of a type-ethical individualism-is his overriding ideology. Although focusing on the work of judge Weinstein, the Article suggests some general conclusions about independence and accountability in a trial judge, about judicial imagination, and about ideology.
Burbank, Stephen B., "The Courtroom as Classroom: Independence, Imagination and Ideology in the Work of Jack Weinstein" (1997). Faculty Scholarship. 503.