October 28, 2008

Obama and the Future of the Courts

Robert F. Kennedy used to say, 'Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not?'; that outlook has become a far too common and destructive approach to interpreting the law" Antonin Scalia

To go along with yesterdays revelation that Obama has, at least for now, given up on the courts promoting the social justice he envisions for America we also need to be mindful as the next president he will have a profound effect on the future of the courts. From the Wall Street Journal

On the Supreme Court, six of the current nine justices will be 70 years old or older on January 20, 2009. There is a widespread expectation that the next president could make four appointments in just his first term, with maybe two more in a second term. Here too we are poised for heavy change.

These numbers ought to raise serious concern because of Mr. Obama's extreme left-wing views about the role of judges. He believes -- and he is quite open about this -- that judges ought to decide cases in light of the empathy they ought to feel for the little guy in any lawsuit.

Speaking in July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, he said: "[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

On this view, plaintiffs should usually win against defendants in civil cases; criminals in cases against the police; consumers, employees and stockholders in suits brought against corporations; and citizens in suits brought against the government. Empathy, not justice, ought to be the mission of the federal courts,and the redistribution of wealth should be their mantra.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia also noted; " I am questioning the propriety – indeed, the sanity – of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society ... by unelected judges,”. You only have to look to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the absurd decisions that have been handed down to see Scalias point. eg, "Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that municipal employers have the right to censor the words "natural family," "marriage" and "family values" because that is hate speech and could scare workers."

Do we want a panel of black robed social workers mandating the norms of society by what seems "fair" which is Obamas philosophy? Or do we want them to determine if laws meet the standards set out in the US Constitution? I vote for the latter.

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