Symposium on Neglected Justices
Brandon, Mark E.
Ely, James W., 1938-
Given the legal academy's penchant for ranking, it is hardly a surprise that legal scholars have turned their attention to crafting lists of the greatest Justices of the Supreme Court. As with ratings of decisions, however, the difficulties of articulating and applyin gstandards plague scholarly efforts to rank Justices. Are there defensible criteria by which to assess judicial performance? To the extent that personal perspective colors evaluation, how might one screen for political and ideological bias on the part of the evaluators? Or is political favoritism inevitable? Another concern is whether a "presentist" bias skews ratings in a way that treats recent jurists more kindly than those of other eras? Conversely, does reverence for certain eras of the past elevate the status of some Justices? Additional problems abound.