Should Obama pick judges who favor Democrat special interest groups?

Yes, I know he calls it “empathy”. And by empathy he means twisting the law to benefit the people who voted for him. What you don’t believe me? Well, check out the evidence here about who Obama’s bailouts really benefit. Nice Deb even links to a story that questions whether the recent Chrysler dealership closures were made because the owners donated to Republican candidates.

Now, what kind of judges does someone like Obama need to install in order to back his authoritarian regime? Well, it has to be someone who will help him to punish the people who disagree with him. Someone who believes that there are good Americans (Democrats) and bad Americans (Republicans), and that the laws should apply differently to those different groups.

Let’s take a look at what my favorite two economists, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have to say about this.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell has a four-part series on Obama’s judicial philosophy.

In part one, Sowell asks what it means that Obama will pick judges who come from certain groups, and who believe in twisting the law to favor those groups.

That President Obama has made “empathy” with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee is a dangerous sign of how much further the Supreme Court may be pushed away from the rule of law and toward even more arbitrary judicial edicts to advance the agenda of the left and set it in legal concrete, immune from the democratic process.

Would you want to go into court to appear before a judge with “empathy” for groups A, B and C, if you were a member of groups X, Y or Z? Nothing could be further from the rule of law. That would be bad news, even in a traffic court, much less in a court that has the last word on your rights under the Constitution of the United States.

Appoint enough Supreme Court justices with “empathy” for particular groups and you would have, for all practical purposes, repealed the 14th Amendment, which guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all Americans.

In part two, Sowell talks about Olive Wendell Holmes’ strict constructionist jurisprudence, which allowed citizens to undertake economic enterprises because they could predict how the law would be enforced.

Justice Holmes saw his job to be “to see that the game is played according to the rules whether I like them or not.”

That was because the law existed for the citizens, not for lawyers or judges, and the citizen had to know what the rules were, in order to obey them.

He said: “Men should know the rules by which the game is played. Doubt as to the value of some of those rules is no sufficient reason why they should not be followed by the courts.”

Legislators existed to change the law.

In part three, Sowell talks about why the judiciary must remain impartial as a check on the power of the legislative and executive branches.

Barack Obama’s vision of America is one in which a President of the United States can fire the head of General Motors, tell banks how to bank, control the medical system and take charge of all sorts of other activities for which neither he nor other politicians have any expertise or experience.The Constitution of the United States gives no president, nor the entire federal government, the authority to do such things. But spending trillions of dollars to bail out all sorts of companies buys the power to tell them how to operate.

Appointing judges to the federal courts– including the Supreme Court– who believe in expanding the powers of the federal government to make arbitrary decisions, choosing who will be winners and losers in the economy and in the society, is perfectly consistent with a vision of the world where self-confident and self-righteous elites rule according to their own notions, instead of merely governing under the restraints of the Constitution.

In part four, Sowell explains how big government socialists like Obama view the Constitution as an obstacle to be overcome.

Judicial expansion of federal power is not really new, even if the audacity with which that goal is being pursued may be unique. For more than a century, believers in bigger government have also been believers in having judges “interpret” the restraints of the Constitution out of existence.

They called this “a living Constitution.” But it has in fact been a dying Constitution, as its restraining provisions have been interpreted to mean less and less, so that the federal government can do more and more.

For example, the Constitution allows private property to be taken for “public use”– perhaps building a reservoir or a highway — if “just compensation” was paid. But that power was expanded by the Supreme Court in 2005 when it “interpreted” this to mean that private property could be taken for a “public purpose,” which could include almost anything for which politicians could come up with the right rhetoric.

Walter Williams

And Walter Williams writes about the dangers of empathy using last year’s Super Bowl as an example.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowl titles, seven AFC championships and hosted 10 conference games. No other AFC or NFC team can match this record. By contrast, the Arizona Cardinals’ last championship victory was in 1947 when they were based in Chicago. In anyone’s book, this is a gross disparity. Should the referees have the empathy to understand what it’s like to be a perennial loser and what would you think of a referee whose decisions were guided by his empathy? Suppose a referee, in the name of compensatory justice, stringently applied pass interference or roughing the passer violations against the Steelers and less stringently against the Cardinals. Or, would you support a referee who refused to make offensive pass interference calls because he thought it was a silly rule? You’d probably remind him that the league makes the rules, not referees.

I’m betting that most people would agree that football justice requires that referees apply the rules blindly and independent of the records or any other characteristic of the two teams. Moreover, I believe that most people would agree that referees should evenly apply the rules of the games even if they personally disagreed with some of the rules.

But what if the Steelers had lost due to referee partiality? Well, presumably they would stop playing the game. And when enough small businesses get tired of being sued by special interest group plaintiffs, we will all be working for the government and that will be the end of our liberty.

Further study

Probably one of the greatest books ever written is Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions”. Go out right now and buy it if you don’t have it, but be warned, it was a tough read for a software engineer like me, and my Dad also found it difficult when I gave it to him.

2 thoughts on “Should Obama pick judges who favor Democrat special interest groups?”

  1. Sonia Sotomayor is a Puerto Rican female, ’nuff said.

    In today’s political climate, it is the colour of one’s skin and not the content of one’s character that matters.


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