Susan A. Bandes


The question of whether judges ought to be empathetic has been hotly debated in recent years. This Issue celebrating the life and achievements of Judge Jack Weinstein presents an ideal opportunity to productively focus and narrow the empathy debate. Problematically, this debate generally treats judging as a monolithic concept. To debate whether empathy is a desirable attribute of judges as a general matter is to overlook important distinctions between trial, appellate, and Supreme Court jurists, and between federal and state courts. Using Judge Weinstein’s approach to judging as a touchstone, I will explore the role of empathy for Article III judges, and for federal district court judges in particular.