President Obama has his first opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court Justice, and his choice could define his presidency and his place in history. The appointments taking place during his administration, like those made in previous administrations, will impact the highest court for decades. It is one of the incumbent President’s most profound and serious responsibilities. Let’s hope that Mr. Obama considers his first nomination as seriously and objectively as the task deserves.
There is some reason for concern. Mr. Obama has expressed the view that “empathy” would be a desirable characteristic in a Supreme Court Justice. Also, his assessment of the Court and the Constitution he has sworn to uphold includes his regret that neither has been structured to address the issue of “redistributive change”. Seems the Founding Fathers have placed some pesky constraints on Obama’s ideas about justice and the proper role of government.
So what or who would qualify as an empathetic judicial activist to meet the President’s parameters? There has already been some suggestion that he may look outside the boundaries imposed by legal experience and demonstrated competence at jurisprudence. Much speculation has been offered about whether the nominee will be a woman to make up for the departure of Sandra Day O’Connor and the probable imminent retirement of Ruth Bader Ginsberg due to her recent serious health issues. None of this has anything to do with either justice or sound judgment. But that has proved no barrier to the likes of community organizers and social engineers. A social worker or community organizer with a law degree just might fill the bill.
That kind of appointment could lead to disaster for future civilization. It does not matter as some have pointed out that another “left-leaning” justice would merely retain the existing “balance”. What matters is the future, the future none of us can predict. With “feel-good” or emotion-driven judges on the highest Court in the land, decisions could be rendered on the basis of emotion rather than reason. The law would be subordinated to the politically-favored views of the moment. It would reinforce the class system that has already developed due to the vast trend toward total collectivism in the United States over the last century.
A decision in law is supposed to be impartial. The symbol of “blind justice” speaks to that impartiality. A decision by political favor, on the other hand, is blinded by emotion. As to “redistributive” considerations, it should not be necessary to again point out that the distribution of one person’s wealth to the benefit of another by force is the antithesis of justice. When the Supreme Court becomes less concerned with justice and turns to the political flavor of the month: welfare, reparations for historical wrongs, need and ability considerations, or any social engineering scheme: justice will wither and die. The future could become some incomprehensible tyranny.
Copyright 2009 Edward Podritske