DISCUSSION: This is a very well done author’s opinion question. You have to figure out both author’s opinions, and they’re rather subtle.
The author of passage A may be easier to figure out, as they were talking entirely about trial judges. I’d say they were for trial judges doing research, but only within the constraints of a trial.
The start of the second paragraph is important: “Those concerns have some merit….not justify a….prohibition [of trial court research]”. So, the author agrees that there are some risks to trial court research, and that at least in some cases it in inadvisable. If I say “I do not absolutely prohibit you from eating my food”, I’m really saying “in a few circumstances, you can eat it”.
So, this rules out answers A-C, as those say the first author opposed trial research. And it strongly suggests answer D, as E is too strong. Someone forcefully advocating something would be unlikely to have reservations and limits on its practice.
Author’s B’s opinion may be harder to spot. It’s in the first line: “Regardless of what trial courts may do”. The author is explicitly saying he doesn’t think its relevant to consider what trial courts do. I missed that line until I got to this question, though I would have picked answer D even if I hadn’t seen it. (On the basis of author A’s opinion).
I won’t be commenting on most of author B’s opinion in the answers, because apart from this one line they pass no opinion on what trial court judges should do.
- This is wrong because author A was advocating for trial court judges to do research. That’s hardly being “resigned”. Resigned is when you don’t think something should happen, but you admit defeat and agree.
- Ambivalence means: I’m not sure which way we should do things. Author A was very clear that they thought trial court judges should do research.
- Skepticism would be arguing against an idea. Author A is arguing for the idea that trial court judges should research.
I will comment on author B here: “veiled skepticism” will be pretty apparent. It might look like bitter sarcasm, or somesuch. e.g. “While perhaps our oh so brilliant trial judges will never make the kind of mistakes appellate court judges make, we sadly cannot trust appellate court judges to research without adult supervision”
(In this case, the author doesn’t directly address trial judges, but it’s clear they think they make mistakes too)
- This is the best answer. “Qualified” means “under certain conditions”. The author thinks trial judges should do research, when restrained by the structure of a trial. As for author B, in the very first line they say “regardless of what trial judges may do, appellate court should resist the temptation to….research”, showing they explicitly aren’t considering what trial judges should do.
- Forceful advocacy is too strong. See line 10, at the start of paragraph 2. The author of passage A agrees there are problems with judicial research, and that it should only be done in the structure of a trial.
As for tentative opposition, this is tempting, but….the problem is there is nothing in Passage B that says trial judges shouldn’t research! To be opposed to something the author has to actually say so. In their first line they explicitly decide not to consider what trial courts should do.
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