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The Limits of Judicial Objectivity, 12 American University Law Review 1 (1963)


It is a privilege to appear as lecturer on this platform honoring a noted American law professor, Edwin A. Mooers, particularly when it is in succession to the first lecturer of the series, the Dean of American legal scholars, Roscoe Pound.1 I recognize my temerity in venturing a new discussion of a topic which Pound and Cardozo have so definitively explored in modern times and which has stimulated lively thinking from at least the time of Aristotle. My excuse is not only the continuous fascination of the subject, but also the fact that after all these years of legal realism, frankly, even brutally, stripping the process of decision-making of all illusion, there appears to be rising a new wave of mysticism to bemuse the scholars, confuse the judges, and intrigue us all. Each generation, it seems, must work out anew its theories of the judicial process. Let me assure you that I have no new revelations to give you, only some unoriginal bromides, which seem in danger of being overlooked. My aim is to bring the discussion back to a pragmatic and practical level which will be of utility to those on the firing front. For a near quarter century of judging following two decades of teaching in the fields of law administration and legal procedure, if they have not given me final wisdom, have at least brought conviction that we should return the business of judging to the judges, unfettered by either abstract philosophy or mechanical rules of certainty and objectivity.

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The Limits of Judicial Objectivity, 12 American University Law Review 1 (1963)

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