Monday, June 30, 2003

Conviction-free judges

Andrew Sullivan doesn't care for Scalia's passionate opinions, or in his words, "angry, sarcastic, bitter tone of [Scalia's] judgments." Now, if he had left it at that, I could understand, if I wouldn't agree in every case: sometimes I think a bit of strong, emotional language is useful.

But Sullivan proceeds to go too far afield, IMHO, when he states,
    Ditto the arguments about the far right nominee, Bill Pryor, a man whose political language about abortion is so inflamed he has had to say to the Senate that he will simply lay it all aside if he is called to rule on the matter. No one can believe in this kind of psychological compartmentalization; and no one should trust anyone who promises it. The truth is: anyone whose views are that inflamed shouldn't be anywhere near a federal bench. A talk-show host or blogger, maybe. A politician surely. But not a judge.
It seems the implicit conclusion of Sullivan's words here is that a judge cannot be fervently passionate about issues which are topical to the day, and if this is in fact the meaning of his words, I passionately disagree -- why should judges be intellectual and emotional eunuchs on particular issues simply because they are controversial?

I don't get it. Perhaps I've misunderstood Mr. Sullivan -- in fact, I hope I have -- because the meaning I see is difficult to agree with.

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