Richard Posner Responds to Bryan Garner in The New Republic
BRYAN A. GARNER:
Hardly was I surprised that Judge Richard A. Posner did not warmly embrace Reading Law, the book on textualism I coauthored with Justice Antonin Scalia. But I was unduly sanguine in thinking that my friendship with Judge Posner (such as it is—we’ve shared several meals since the 1990s and have always had convivial conversations) would ensure at least a fair reading of our book on “fair reading.”
The tendentious hostility of Posner’s review in The New Republic, containing allegations of pervasive misrepresentations in the new Scalia‑Garner book, did come as a surprise—a most disappointing one. A response is in order...
Bryan Garner’s letter repeats criticisms by the National Review blogger Ed Whelan, a former Scalia law clerk who is the head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an extreme conservative think tank preoccupied with homosexuality (which Whelan believes is destroying the American family), abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and other affronts to conservative theology.
I have trouble believing Garner when he says that four lawyers at his company verified the accuracy of every statement made about every case in the book. The book’s Acknowledgements page thanks 96 (!) persons for helping with the book, and there is no reference to four lawyer-colleagues who slaved to make sure that every statement was accurate. The book is riddled with inaccuracies, illustrating the adage that too many cooks spoil the broth. The Acknowledgments thank nine “Garner Law Scholars” at a Texas law school who “briefed dozens of cases for our [the authors’] consideration.” I am guessing the Garner Law Scholars were the source of many of the mistakes...