Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An Empathetic Judge?

This is an interesting viewpoint: Jordan at Generational Patriot caught a bit of nuance in Obama's philosophy for picking the Supreme Court replacement. It's all about the "empathy."

Both Democrats and Republican spouted off on this during the Sunday shows. From Politico:

What does that mean? Usually that’s a code word for an activist judge,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on ABC’s “This Week.” He said a judge needs to “be fair to the rich, the poor, the weak, the strong, the sick [and] the disabled.”

“I may have empathy for, for the little guy in a fight with a big corporation, but the law may not be on his side. So I think that’s a concern,” former Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“What I hear in President Obama’s statement is that he wants the justices of the court to try to understand the real world we live in and the impact of some of these decisions. Apply the law, but do it in a sensible fashion,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”

I think Jordan sums it up pretty well when he writes the following:

"Empathy is something for Congress to have, for they are the voice of their people. Empathy is something President Obama can lecture on, for he is the spokesman of America. It's a totally welcomed and humane thing to have, for we are not robots nor monsters. But, with objective law, the ceiling of all Western civilization, it cannot be the guiding light. Otherwise, we fall into the depravity of relativism, and with that, the decline of our values and nation are all but assured. "

Hmm. If empathy is the new criteria, and the Catholic weekly America suggests that we should get someone without a law degree, and it should be a woman, maybe Susanna Logan would fit the bill. She's got LOTS of empathy!


yukio ngaby said...

I heard S.Logan was on the short list-- 'tween her and Al Gore.

Jordan said...

Thanks for the link!

When Hatch speaks, it usually creates one more negative opinion of Utah. Damn him. Guy's deeply social conservative, which perfectly represents most of Utah, but he can't wrap his head around economics, federalism and now the law.

He's my example when I talk term limits.

G.R. said...

The idea that a judge's main qualifications is to be empathetic is just plain pathetic.

1 Kings 3:16-28 tells the story about Solomon using wisdom, not empathy, in deciding who was the rightful mother of baby.

Legal decision should be based on law, not personal whims of the fleeting moment. I can just hear it now. An empathetic judge: "I know what the law says, and if I follow the letter of the law, Joe wins his case. Bob,on the other hand, hasn't proven his case, but I feel sorry for him, and will decide in his favor."

Good grief, we're totally screwed!