National Law Journal Interviews Eric Posner on Judicial Rankings

Chicago law professor says Wood outranks Sotomayor, based on empirical study
Lynne Marek
The National Law Journal
May 14, 2009

Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit should beat out federal appellate bench colleague Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2d Circuit for the nod as a U.S. Supreme Court candidate — at least according to an empirical view of one Chicago law school professor with a judicially prominent last name.

University of Chicago Law School Professor Eric Posner this week expanded on a 2004 study of 98 federal appellate judges in determining that Wood outranks Sotomayor in a composite rating based on quantity, quality, and independence of court opinions. Posner, who is the son of 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner, in a posting on the Volokh Conspiracy blog, used the study's analysis of opinions to rank Wood eighth and Sotomayor in the lower half. He included Justice Samuel Alito Jr., previously a judge on the 3d Circuit, for perspective, ranking him at No. 16.

Eric Posner
Diane P. Wood
Richard A. Posner