Recently retired federal appeals court Judge Richard Posner said he rarely looked to legal rules when deciding cases and often sought to skirt Supreme Court precedent.
"I pay very little attention to legal rules, statutes, constitutional provisions," Posner told the New York Times in an interview published Monday. "A case is just a dispute. The first thing you do is ask yourself — forget about the law — what is a sensible resolution of this dispute?"
When confronting a case with some form of legal obstacle in the way, the former 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge said he would look to circumvent whatever prevented him from reaching his desired result.
"When you have a Supreme Court case or something similar, they're often extremely easy to get around," Posner said.
The 78-year-old Posner said he chose to retire after realizing that he had "lost interest" in the cases before his court. President Ronald Reagan appointed Posner in 1981, and the former Midwestern appeals court judge said he recently began to wonder, "Why didn't I quit 10 years ago?"
Posner's retirement from the federal bench took effect Sept. 2.