Good Thoughts on the Supreme Court

June 3, 2009

Three excellent paragraphs from Thomas Sowell’s June 2 column, Out of Context.

The clever people in the media and elsewhere are saying that “inevitably” one’s background influences how one feels about issues. Even if that were true, judges are not supposed to decide cases based on their personal feelings.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that he “loathed” many of the people in whose favor he voted on the Supreme Court. Obviously, he had feelings. But he also had the good sense and integrity to rule on the basis of the law, not his feelings.

Laws are made for the benefit of the citizens, not for the self-indulgences of judges. Making excuses for such self-indulgences and calling them “inevitable” is part of the cleverness that has eroded the rule of law and undermined respect for the law.

Also, in reference to the title of his column:

If that line is used during Judge Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearings, someone should ask her to explain just what those words mean when taken in context.

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