Richard Posner  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Richard Allen Posner (born January 11, 1939) is an American jurist and economist who was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago from 1981 until 2017, and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. He is a leading figure in the field of law and economics, and was identified by The Journal of Legal Studies as the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century.

Posner is known for his scholarly range and for writing on topics outside of his primary field, law. In his various writings and books, he has addressed animal rights, feminism, drug prohibition, gay marriage (though he has reversed positions and now favors gay marriage), Keynesian economics, and academic moral philosophy, among other subjects.

Posner is the author of nearly 40 books on jurisprudence, economics, and several other topics, including Economic Analysis of Law, The Economics of Justice, The Problems of Jurisprudence, Sex and Reason, Law, Pragmatism and Democracy, and The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy. Posner has generally been identified as being politically conservative; however, in recent years he has distanced himself from the positions of the Republican party authoring more liberal rulings involving same-sex marriage and abortion. In A Failure of Capitalism, he has written that the 2008 financial crisis has caused him to question the rational-choice, laissez faire economic model that lies at the heart of his Law and Economics theory.

On September 1, 2017, Posner announced that he was retiring from the Seventh Circuit, effective the following day.




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