Monday, July 26, 2010

Judging the Court

Adam Liptak writes today in the New York Times of the Supreme Court's move to the ideological right since John Roberts assumed the position of Chief Justice five years ago. I suppose I could just say, "Thank God!", and leave it at that. But it is testimony to how much the Main Stream Media and their liberal Court watchers still play the role of gatekeepers and agenda-setters that a return to an understanding of a judge's proper role as that of narrowly interpreting the law and the Constitution, of being constrained by that understanding, is in any sense ideological.

For a conservative, a proper judge must strive to eschew his own ideology when he rules; his personal policy preferences should matter not a whit. For a liberal, by contrast, those preferences are all that matter. In fact, those preferences, if they are sufficiently and dependably liberal, are what qualify him to be a judge in the first place.

Between a liberal and a conservative understanding of a judge's role, the difference is not simply a matter of degree, either more left or more right, but a difference in kind. As has been pointed out countless times, but apparently still not enough, a liberal judge is really no judge at all. He is instead a Supreme Legislator. Remember that when you vote this fall for the real legislators, the senators, who confirm or deny a judge's appointment to the bench.

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