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2006

Cognitive bias

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

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Judges As Rulemakers, Emily Sherwin Jul 2006

Judges As Rulemakers, Emily Sherwin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In Do Cases Make Bad Law?, Frederick Schauer raises some serious questions about the process of judicial lawmaking. Schauer takes issue with the widely held assumption that judge-made law benefits from the court's focus on a particular real-world dispute. Writing with characteristic eloquence, Schauer argues that the need to resolve a concrete dispute does not enhance the ability of judges to craft sound rules, but instead generates cognitive biases that distort judicial development of legal rules.

Schauer's observations about the risks of rulemaking in an adjudicatory setting are very persuasive. Yet his overall assessment of the common law ...