SCOTUSblog on camera: Orin Kerr – Part one

From mechanical engineering to the law; not being fired by the Department of Justice; and the importance of technical knowledge to law and technology.

In this five-part interview, Orin Kerr of the George Washington University Law School discusses his background in mechanical engineering and the law; clerking for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Judge Leonard I. Garth of the Third Circuit; working in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice; and teaching law. Kerr talks about how the Court considers cases, understands legal principle and contends with changing technology; the importance of predictability in law; the Court’s institutional position; and the role of politics in understanding the Court and its membership.

“One thing that I didn’t appreciate until I was a law clerk was the extent to which the Justices are generalists.  . . . You just sort of imagine that they have . . . clear agendas and a sense of, ‘I’m going from here to here to here.’ That’s not generally the case. That’s not the norm. The norm is that they’re generalist Justices.”

(Fabrizio di Piazza)

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