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Read an excerpt from John R. Lott Jr.'s new book, 'Dumbing Down the Courts'

Bascom Hill Publishing Group

Fox News Opinion is pleased to present an excerpt from John Lott's new book, "Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench":

John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for FoxNews.com. He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of eight books including "More Guns, Less Crime." His latest book is "Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench" Bascom Hill Publishing Group (September 17, 2013). Follow him on Twitter@johnrlottjr.