Judge Richard Posner sits in his office Tuesday Oct., 18, 2011 in Chicago. Photo: Abel Uribe/TNS/ZUMA Wire

Judge Richard Posner announced on Friday that he is retiring—immediately—from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, where he has served on the bench for three decades.

Posner, known for his clear prose and biting critiques, will no longer be on the bench as of Saturday. He is 78 years old.

“I am proud to have promoted a pragmatic approach to judging during my time on the Court, and to have had the opportunity to apply my view that judicial opinions should be easy to understand and that judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case,” Posner said in a statement. He noted that he had written more than 3,300 opinions during this time on the bench.

He said he looks forward to teaching and publishing “with a particular focus on social justice reform.”

Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood said in a statement: “For more than 50 years Judge Posner has been one of the leading public intellectuals in the United States—indeed, in the world. He is one of the most distinguished people to ever sit on the federal bench. His opinions have had an impact around the world. He has produced an unparalleled body of scholarship—books, articles, and public commentary—covering virtually every legal topic that can be imagined.”

Posner was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981. He served as chief judge of the Seventh Circuit from 1993 to 2000.

He has also criticized the U.S. Supreme Court, which some pushed for him to join, as being too politicized.

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Amanda Bronstad covers mass torts and class actions for ALM. Contact her at abronstad@alm.com. On Twitter: @abronstadlaw