SOTOMAYOR AND "EMPATHY"


Appointing judges on the basis of their “empathy” in place of thorough understanding of and respect for the law, sound self-knowledge, humility and just plain humanitarianism is apparently not a new concept. Paul Moreno, at the History News Network, has written a frightening article titled When “Empathy” Goes Awry, in which he details the ironic – and sometimes tragic – ways in which empathy-based appointments had turned out. From Oliver Wendell Holmes who respected little except eugenics to William O. Douglas who was “rude, ice-cold, hot-tempered, ungrateful, foul-mouthed, self-absorbed, and devoured by ambition,” the article is a cautionary tale for these postmodern times.

And just to show that there is nothing new under the sun, borking by so-called progressives was alive and well long before Ted Kennedy. In particular, Moreno recounts the 1930 manhandling of Judge Parker:

Self-righteous progressives also abused many good judges whom they incorrectly believed did not meet their “empathy” standard. In 1930 Judge John J. Parker was effectively “borked” by New York Senator Robert F. Wagner.

Moreno’s concluding paragraph says it all:

We can hope that President Obama has better luck choosing justices by the standard of “empathy.” But it would be better still if he found some other standard.

Like, maybe, thorough understanding of and respect for the law, sound self-knowledge, humility and just plain humanitarianism…

Advertisements

About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
This entry was posted in Obama administration, Supreme Court. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s