"The Effect of Judicial Ideology in IP Cases":

Bill Patry (The Patry Copyright Blog) points to a very interesting article about this.

Richard S (mail):
There is an interesting anachronism here. The concept of ideology was developed after the constitution was ratified.

In that sense, a proper understanding of the constitution is non-ideological. The political philosophy that animated the founders' constitutionalism was not ideological. To reduce it to ideology is to change it.

I am not just playing with words here. Serious students of political philosophy should recognize this line of thought.
10.24.2007 9:54pm
theobromophile (www):
I'll admit to merely skimming the article instead of reading the entire thing. A few thoughts:
1) IP, via economic interests, would certainly trigger ideological reactions in people (Supreme Court justices included).
2) One problem with the study is that it measures whether a judge voted for or against the IP owner; the results may have been more pronounced had they factored in types of disputes (i.e. two inventors quibbling over the first-to-invent rule v. a patent-holder and a rival quibbling over Sherman Act violations), or rather, factored out disputes which are less likely to provoke an ideological reaction.
10.25.2007 3:53am
Jason Steed:
Richard S,
This depends on what you mean by "ideology." In a broad, non-technical sense, "ideology" refers descriptively simply to a cohesive set of ideas that shape the way, and/or constitute the way, one sees the world. The word itself was coined in 1796, thus it predates the Constitution. ("Ideologue" was first recorded in 1815, to refer to French Revolutionaries.) The concept you're referring to, I believe, as "ideology," is more technical and narrow in its meaning, within the realm of political philosophy, and was emerging through the early 19th century. But it's quite possible to argue that it was precisely idea-driven revolutionary movements like the one led by the American Founders that contributed to the development of the concept. So I don't think you can claim that the Constitution was "non-ideological."
10.25.2007 11:53am
Jason Steed:
Whoops. I misspoke. Obviously, 1796 does NOT predate the Constitution. (I had a dislexic moment and read the date as 1769.) But I think my point stands: the word and concept emerged possibly in response to, or as the result of, the kinds of idea-driven movements that the Constitution represented. So calling the Constitution "non-ideological" simply because it predates the concept doesn't work. We often create concepts to help us to better understand something we've experienced or witnessed....
10.25.2007 11:56am