Empathetic or not?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by jreeves, May 11, 2009.

  1. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Lady Justice's blindfold - The Boston Globe
    JUDICIAL dispassion - the ability to decide cases without being influenced by personal feelings or political preferences - is indispensable to the rule of law. So indispensable, in fact, that the one-sentence judicial oath required of every federal judge and justice contains no fewer than three expressions of it: "I . . . do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me . . . under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God."
    Without judicial restraint there is no rule of law. We live under "a government of laws and not of men" only so long as judges stick to neutrally resolving the disputes before them, applying the law, and upholding the Constitution even when doing so leads to results they personally dislike. That is why the judicial oath is so adamant about impartiality. That is why Lady Justice is so frequently depicted - as on the sculpted lampposts outside the US Supreme Court - wearing a blindfold and carrying balanced scales.

    Time and again, Obama has called for judges who do not put their private political views aside when deciding cases. In choosing a replacement for Justice David Souter, the president says, he will seek not just "excellence and integrity," but a justice whose "quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles," would be "an essential ingredient" in his jurisprudence. In an interview last year, he said he would look for judges "sympathetic" to those "on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless."

    When he voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005, Obama declared that the "truly difficult" cases that come before the Supreme Court can be decided only with reference to "the depth and breadth of one's empathy," and that "the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge's heart."

    But such cardiac justice is precisely what judges "do solemnly swear" to renounce. Sympathy for others is an admirable virtue. But a judge's private commiserations are not relevant to the law he is expected to apply.

    Do you believe a judge should be empathic when passing out judgments?
     
  2. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    You fail to grasp the lefts absolute stupidity in "feelings" . Feelings are more important than knowledge, then facts, then, well, anything, to the lefts idiotic positions on all matters. They don't think, they "feel".
     
  3. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    If that's true then how could some on the left push for legalizing late term abortions?
     
  4. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    Aaah ... the conundrum ... the left supposedly follow their feelings too much according to the right, but the right follows their feelings as well when they legislate based on what they believe is right and wrong. No one uses science, fact, or logic. Thus is the flaw of humanity, it's always feeling that rules.
     
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  5. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    I'm not talking about politically though. Do you think a Justice should follow their feelings when applying the law? or Do you think they should interpret the law without respect to feelings?
     
  6. DamnYankee
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    DamnYankee No Neg Policy

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    Absolutely not. Empathy is based on emotion.
    Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion

    Judgments and/or rulings should be dispassionate. As an attorney, Obama should full-well know this. One can only wonder at his audacity to question Roberts' record when he could only come up with 1% of Roberts' decisions that he felt didn't display the appropriate empathy.
     
  7. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    the O.P. just described the "activist" judge and that is exactly what Obama wants.
     
  8. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    A mechanistic application of the law, one applied without regard for how the application of the law effects the society at large, is simply stupid.

    The floundering fathers understood that, which is why they created a constitution which left lots of wriggle-room for the courts and Congress to change the constitution, and to interpret the consitution's meaning, too.

    Now one can certainly find fault with the interpretation of the law, and one can certainly find fault with laws as they are passed, but thinking that we have a constitution written in 1789 which CLEARLY tells us how we must live our lives TODAY, is preposterous.
     
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    And yet NONE of your hero leftoids will bother to create amendments to said document, instead reading bullshit into already existing portions of it. Our founding fathers knew it would need to be changed, and they provided for that.
     
  10. DamnYankee
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    DamnYankee No Neg Policy

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    17 of which have been ratified (6 have not). the most recent of which were from 1961 through 1992. Pretty preposterous, huh?
     

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