After we heard from Obama on how to bring about redistributive change, several of my friends and correspondents were discussing that the President of the US appoints not only Supreme Court justices, but also federal judges.
Today Steven Calabresi writes in the Wall Street Journal about Obama’s ‘Redistribution’ Constitution
The courts are poised for a takeover by the judicial left.
Every new federal judge has been required by federal law to take an oath of office in which he swears that he will “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.” Mr. Obama’s emphasis on empathy in essence requires the appointment of judges committed in advance to violating this oath. To the traditional view of justice as a blindfolded person weighing legal claims fairly on a scale, he wants to tear the blindfold off, so the judge can rule for the party he empathizes with most.
The legal left wants Americans to imagine that the federal courts are very right-wing now, and that Mr. Obama will merely stem some great right-wing federal judicial tide. The reality is completely different. The federal courts hang in the balance, and it is the left which is poised to capture them.
A whole generation of Americans has come of age since the nation experienced the bad judicial appointments and foolish economic and regulatory policy of the Johnson and Carter administrations. If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see any or all of the following: a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government-financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors; and approval of huge punitive damage awards, like those imposed against tobacco companies, against many legitimate businesses such as those selling fattening food.
People are so ignorant of the principles involved in judicial decisions that the concept of basing decisions on empathy probably resonates with a lot of people. But it’s a dangerous path to travel down. One day it might be a group you sympathize with that arouses a judge’s empathy. Tomorrow, it might be a different group. Let’s look to elected legislators to write the laws and they can use empathy and consideration of the common good in writing them. But let’s leave empathy out of decision-making on the courts.
Calabresi reached the same conclusion as my friends and I did yesterday,
Nothing less than the very idea of liberty and the rule of law are at stake in this election. We should not let Mr. Obama replace justice with empathy in our nation’s courtrooms.
Meanwhile, Penn and Teller weigh in on the tax plan (h/t Ty Hogan),