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John R. Lott, Jr., is the author five books, including Freedomnomics and Are Predatory Commitments Credible? Who Should the Courts Believe? , the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.
In his rigorous yet readable style, John Lott analyzes both historical accounts and large amounts of data to see how the confirmation process has changed over time. Most importantly, Dumbing Down the Courts shows that intelligence has now become a liability for judicial nominees. With courts taking on an ever greater role in our lives, smarter judges are feared by the opposition. Although presidents want brilliant judges who support their positions, senators of the opposing party increasingly ''Bork'' those nominees who would be the most influential judges, subjecting them to humiliating and long confirmations.
The conclusion? The brightest nominees will not end up on the bench.