Sunday, August 28, 2011

Judging rural and rural judges

I've written a lot about some judges' lack of familiarity with rural contexts, even as they are so often charged with passing judgment on rural people. I've speculated that this may be particular problem with appellate judges, who are more likely than trial judges to live in cities (like the capital cities or other major cities were appellate judges tend to sit), and given the statistics on who gets law degrees, are not as likely to hail from rural places. Now, however, I see this note from the Arkansas Times reporting that Jake Looney of Mena, Arkansas, population 5,581, has declared his intention to run for a seat on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. The story indicates that Looney raises spotted donkeys in his spare time. I'm not sure if he raises anything else (farm-wise), but he was the author of an early text book on agricultural law, as well as several law review articles on the topic. He also taught the course for a while when he was on the faculty of the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he also was Dean for a time. Certainly, his rural bona fides seem well in tact.

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