July 19, 2005  ·  Cass Sunstein

In an extremely short time, everyone seems to have concluded that Judge Edith Brown Clement will be nominated to the Supreme Court. This is clearly an informational cascade, in which almost everyone is responding to the statements of others, who are responding in turn to the statements of others, etc. (Compare the frenzy over the supposedly definite resignation of Chief Justice Rehnquist — also an informational cascade, including many people in high positions in the media and government.) A tentative hunch, though, is that everyone is right on this one.

If the President does choose Judge Clement, the most obvious point is that he’s chosen someone without much of a record. Other candidates include, for example, Michael McConnell, Michael Luttig, Frank Easterbrook, Mary Ann Glendon, and Edith Jones, all of whose views are much easier to find. The choice of someone without much of a paper trail — if that’s what we’re going to see — would be extremely interesting.

  • http://www.funender.com/music/enigmapond SWL

    I agree 100%. It will be very interesting. Some of that “paper trail” on the other candidates is not all good and it gives Judge Clement, if indeed she is appointed, a great start at hers. I wish her all the best! In ways, it’s good to be an unknown, at least in my opinion.

  • http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/19/199227&tid=166&tid=149 slashbot

    Off Topic, but it might be smart if Lessig started thinking about damage control in regards to the latest blurb by John Dvorak on Creative Commons over at slashdot

  • http://www.nude.org human

    damn you beat me to it

  • Nathan

    Apparently Judge Clement is NOT President Bush’s choice, informational cascade notwithstanding.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein
  • http://www.textfiles.com Jason Scott

    You know what I hate? Tentative hunches on informational cascades to prove a questionable point.

    I mean, not HATE hate, but you know.