I’d rather be before a judge who hangs his or her hat on the Constitution, the code, and the rules of procedure than one who hangs his or her hat on how their childhood makes them feel about certain people or issues. I have no problem with someone who has a different interpretation of those laws that has been shaped by their background, but when someone blatantly says “A judge’s role is to make law,” that’s where I have a problem.
People who are whining about empathy and playing politics need to get a grip and read some court decisions. Start with Marbury v. Madison and see whether the Court believes it’s the judge’s role to interpret the law based on how they’re feeling that day or what they ate for breakfast. These decisions create precedent. It’s important to have jurists who understand the power they have and use it cautiously and carefully. Upholding summary judgment on a case in which there was clear discrimination and genuine issues of material fact is NOT using judicial power wisely. It’s using judicial power as a sword to vanquish certain groups you don’t like that day—for whatever reason.
And of course, I have to get on my Judicial Diversity high horse again: I don’t care how many people of “different backgrounds and experiences” sit on the bench, they all went to the same schools and learned the same things. Where’s the ACADEMIC diversity on the bench? How can any of these Ivy Leaguers claim to have empathy for others when their experience stems from an elite education that only a small percentage of people have the opportunity to receive? You want REAL Change? Push for greater academic diversity in government. It’s not just a Boys’ Club–it’s an Ivy League Boys’ Club.