Former students and colleagues describe Mr. Obama as a minimalist (skeptical of court-led efforts at social change) and a structuralist (interested in how the law metes out power in society). And more than anything else, he is a pragmatist who urged those around him to be more keenly attuned to the real-life impact of decisions. This may be his distinguishing quality as a legal thinker: an unwillingness to deal in abstraction, a constant desire to know how court decisions affect people’s lives.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The Con Law Professor We Elected
Jodi Kantor helps flesh out what President Obama evidently means when he says he'll be looking for a Supreme Court nominee who evinces empathy and a respect for the rule of law: