Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Courts - Where Policy is Made

Here's BO's first Supreme Court nominee in a candid moment a few years ago...

Now in her defense she goes on to talk about how appeals courts need to take more time with their decisions and think about how their decisions will be used in future court cases and what effect that will have. Which is true. That's they way our court system works, for better or worse. We use precedent a lot.

Clearly, she knows she said something wrong, though. One wonders what she would have gone on to say had she not remembered she was being taped.

When you think about how your judicial decisions will be used in the future, you shouldn't be basing it on whether or not it'll likely mean more, say, Latinos, or Purple Polka-Dotted people in jail. You should be ensuring that your decision is consistent with the intent of the law as the lawmakers wrote it, and whether or not it is inconsistent with the Constitution. Not on empathy for any particular group, or what you'd like to see or the direction you'd like to steer society.

The thought of a judge dismissing the facts in a case as secondary to this thought process should scare the crap out of you as a citizen possibly directly subject to a judgment that was handed down -- with a soft focus on the facts of a case.

The cavalier attitude with which it was laughed off is cause for concern, especially when coupled with what I talked about in my previous post.

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