More on "Want Your Opinions Questioned or Reversed? Hire a Yale Clerk":

We blogged about this paper (with some skepticism) this Spring, and also linked to a critique by Yale lawprof and leading empirical scholar John Donahue. A couple of weeks ago Donohue withdrew some parts of his critique, but retained other parts; the revised post is here. I thought I'd therefore note this for the sake of completeness and accuracy, and in case some of our readers continue to be interested in this topic.

Crunchy Frog:

The probing reader might respond to this discussion by contending that it suggests that the problem is not that Yale clerks degrade the quality of judicial opinions but that judges who select Yale clerks are themselves defective.

We have a winner!
10.14.2008 2:11pm
Donohue's post is boring and belabors the point that correlation isn't the same thing as causation. Somewhere along the way, he mentions the obvious point that there are a bunch of different ways to get reversed, some of which are more honorable than others.

When it came out, I assumed (wrongly, I guess) that Barondes' paper was meant tongue-in-cheek, sort of like the Green Bag article that tried to determine who was the "funniest" justice by counting the instances of "(laughter)" in the argument transcripts that followed each justice's quips. It's hard to imagine a judge reading Barondes' paper and actually changing his hiring practices.

If Barondes' paper was actually deadly serious, and there were judges out there who might have taken it seriously, but for Donohue's critique, then I take this back, but this whole debate seems really silly.
10.14.2008 2:52pm