Archive for the ‘After Justice Souter’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on May 9, 2009, in response to the Camera’s question: Supreme Court Justice David Souter recently announced he will retire in June, giving President Barack Obama the opportunity to name a successor. Some hope for a female justice, others for a person of color. Still others are asking for a pro-choice candidate, or for Obama to break with tradition and name a justice who isn’t a sitting judge. What do you think?

President Obama will surprise no one with a liberal nominee for the Supreme Court, and it matters little the person’s race, gender or other defining personal characteristics. Senate Republicans concede they have no way to stop Obama’s choice given their numbers. However, his criteria in choosing a nominee and his purpose in it still need to be put in check.

Obama’s “essential” criteria of “empathy,” “understanding” and identifying with people’s struggles go directly against an impartial Supreme Court administering constitutional law. Instead, activist justices will rule with personal preferences swayed by partisan politics, agendas and special interests. They will show deference rather than impartiality and write, rather than administer the law.

The U.S. Constitution says nothing about empathy and understanding, so what does Obama mean? Would Obama want empathy and understanding in court for the unborn, gun owners, religious conservatives or stay-at-home moms supported by loving husbands? Or would empathy be only for single, teen moms, the poor, African-Americans, and people who are gay, disabled or old, a list Obama shared with a Planned Parenthood group in 2007? Either way isn’t good as the Court would have lost its essential impartiality.

Source: Daily Camera

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