Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sessions in the Sun

You know what I hate?

Actually, you probably do. The list is long and much of it has been covered in this space.

But right now. What I'm thinking about. Okay, I'll tell you. It's the completely misguided (or possibly dishonest) views about what a judge's job is that are constantly spewed by conservatives.

Antonin Scalia considers himself a "strict constructionist". This is a nonsensical idea. The concept holds that the constitution is settled and that all you have to do is read it and follow it. Judges supposedly shouldn't "legislate from the bench". They shouldn't "interpret" the law, they should simply follow it. Of course, this is easily knocked down. After all, if the law didn't require occasional interpretation we wouldn't need judges now, would we? How many 5-4 decisions have we had? Someone's not following the law.

"Strict constructionism" is just a rhetorical dodge anyway, a way to pass off reactionary viewpoints and judgements as "what the Founding Fathers envisioned". Bullshit. The Founding Fathers never would have stopped ballots from being counted. Or told someone that they couldn't sue for pay discrimination because said discrimination had been cleverly hidden from them until after the arbitrary statute of limitations had passed. "Sorry. My hands are tied. It's not me. It's the law." Uh-huh.

We'll continue to hear more of the "following the law" bullshit as we get closer to an Obama Supreme Court appointment.

Here's professional racist Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) on what makes a good judge (lifted from this Salon article).

"As long as they have a deep commitment to the law and recognize that when they put on the robe, that they go beyond politics and they're required to subordinate themselves to the law as written."

Actually, no. One of the Supreme Court's main functions is to check the legislative branch by passing judgement on the constitutionality of its laws. If the law is unconstitutional, not only do they not subordinate themselves to it, they strike it down. That's their job. And this man is now the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hooray for us.

1 comment:

Mrs. Chili said...

It's shit like this that brings all the nut jobs out of the woodwork. I'm too drained right now to even think straight about this, but suffice to say that much of what I've heard on the radio and t.v. makes me say "Wha...?!" It makes me wonder if some of these people aren't embarrassed later, listening to themselves and how utterly ridiculous they sound...