On Friday, President Obama gave the American people the standards by which he will make his nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Souter. He said, “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”
Please notice the formula. Justice is not about rules, it is about caring. In this day of legal activism and judicial legislation, President Obama is willing to put someone on the bench who is more concerned with stories than he or she will be in the rule of law. This judge will be making laws that override congress’ decisions, the votes of the people, and even Presidential edicts; shouldn’t the nominee care about the law?
The Supreme sets the precedence for all of the courts in the nation, and our President desires to nominate someone who holds feelings higher than rules. What happens when feelings change? What happens when public sentiment is swayed? In the early 1800’s the country would have been firmly in favor of slavery. But now, not so much. If public sentiment were to sway in the opposite direction and slavery were seen to have a positive impact on the, “daily realities of people’s lives,” should Obama’s new judge have empathy for Americans and be pro-slavery? It’s absurd.
Just as absurd as picking a judge who cares more than he or she rules on what the law is.
Who needs congress? We will havethe Supreme Court to make our laws, care for us, and feel our pain.