Friday, May 14, 2010

Judicial Philosophy

What I'd like to hear a Supreme Court nominee say in answer to a question about her approach to deciding cases:

"Senator, I think it would be inappropriate for me to... um....O.K., here's the deal. I know that it is not possible to perfect human bings through the law. It is not possible to do it through legislation, through creative interpretation of legislation and certainly not through rules handed down from courts in the absence of legislation. The fact is, Senator, there are none of us in public life who is smart enough to craft a law or ordinance telling people how to live that does not cause unnecessary injury to someone. We don't have the capacity to, by imposing general requirements and prohibitions, make any person's life better than he or she could make it themselves, living their lives according to priorities that they set for themselves, and that require simply a basic respect for the rights of others. The people who are given temporary management of the affairs of government haven't the foggiest idea of what should or should not be important to the people in this country, and we shouldn't pretend that we do. So I would have to say that I would approach legal issues humbly because the people who come before the Court will know a hell of a lot more about what individual liberties mean to them than you, I or anyone else in government does. Thank you."

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