D.J. Tice: A Minnesota case in point for Sotomayor

  • Article by: D.J. TICE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2009 - 10:18 PM

What was the role of empathy in a protective order against a father?

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pattayaJul. 13, 0910:26 PM

First and foremost, it is required to follow the letter of the law as it is written in the US Constitution....personal feelings and views have no place in this decision making. Supreme Court Justices DO NOT have the right or authority to re-write these laws according to their personal histories. Difficult yes, but required! I am afraid that she will impose her own 'gut' feelings, and that will NOT be correct.

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pattayaJul. 13, 0910:29 PM

First and foremost, it is required to follow the letter of the law as it is written in the US Constitution....personal feelings and views have no place in this decision making. Supreme Court Justices DO NOT have the right or authority to re-write these laws according to their personal histories. Difficult yes, but required! I am afraid that she will impose her own 'gut' feelings, and that will NOT be correct.

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wasouder2Jul. 13, 0911:42 PM

The idea that empathy...or any other human trait related to cultural or ethnic experience...has no place in the law is absurd. The law is not arithmetic; you cannot simply plug in the facts of a case and reach a single, inevitably correct answer. If this were true then diversity on the court would be irrelevant. It wouldn't matter if you had an all white, all male court...or one comprised of all women or all Hispanics or all African Americans...or any combination thereof. The law would dictate everything in perfect clarity; there would be nothing to decide. Nobody believes that. Even the most conservative members of the Senate concede that diversity on the Supreme Court is desirable. So it can only be true that the subjective differences that make us each unique are relevant in deciding what our constitution means in the democracy we share.

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rmartell5Jul. 14, 0912:28 AM

While your contention that judges follow the Constitution as written is much to be desired, the fact is that many decisions of the US Supreme Court have been 5-4 decisions. How can you square that undeniable fact with having judges follow the Constitution as written? Concepts such as "equal protection", "cruel and unusual punishment", "due process of law" are not amenable to a one size fits all. You can go on line and read Supreme Court opinions, both the majority and dissenting opinions. If you do you will find that the law is not a bright line for all to see, but rather is a blending of grays that cause different judges to reach opposite conclusions. The Court is not final because it is infallible, it is infallible because it is final.

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editor25Jul. 14, 09 6:09 AM

To finally push right wing talking points and no one can complain - because you're on the opinion pages. Still - lots of b.s. from the editor.

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StallionJul. 14, 09 1:27 PM

From Walter Williams: The relationship between Supreme Court justices and the U.S. Constitution should be identical to that of referees and football rules. The status of a person appearing before the court should have absolutely nothing to do with the rendering of decisions. That's why Lady Justice, often appearing on court buildings, is shown wearing a blindfold. It is to indicate that justice should be meted out impartially, regardless of identity, power or weakness. Also, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes 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.' The legislative branch makes the rules, not judges.

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