Justice is blind?
Today we’ll start one of the most annoying processes in politics I can think of. Nominating a Supreme Court justice will bring us a week of guaranteed partisan political bickering and posturing. No ifs, ands, or butts. Guaranteed.
Now, I don’t have that much of an issue with that aspect of it. I just won’t watch any of it. But, I do have a problem when people forget the first principal of law.
Now, there is a reason that statue represents the fairness of the legal system. When a person walks into court or laws are determined for our entire society, it should make no difference whether a person is white, black, Latin, Asian, mixed, albino, Canuck, short, fat, too tall, or whatever. The law is the law. Period. The law applies to everyone equally. The law is not open to interpretation. When a judge decides it’s open to their own personal interpretation, then bias becomes an issue. Period. Whether intentional or not, a person’s opinions are biased on any subject. Outside of the legal system, that’s called opinion. When one forms an opinion, they have created a bias regarding that opinion. At that point, their judgment is no longer blind. At that point, whatever that opinion is carries the weight of the law. At that point, it is no longer possible to render a fair decision no matter how hard a person tries. That’s why I like very dull, very unimaginative judges. Just take the rules given to them and apply it. How simple can it be?
That however, almost never happens. People are people and they form opinions. Some people try to seperate their opinions from the legal practice, others don’t. I prefer the ones that at least try.
Now, that’s my underlying philosophy. The reason I go to all that trouble is beacuse in the case of confirming Sonia Sotomayor, if a person objects to any aspect of this woman, they’re immediately being put in the position of being an anti-Latina bigot. I’m not. I could care less what her background is. When the nominee renders a decisision, I want whoever it is reading what the laws are and applying them. I don’t want them thinking they are smarter than the law, more special than the law, or, can make that law a little better because of their own personal insight. Sonia Sotomayor just doesn’t fit that philosophy. She obviously feels her being both a Latina and a woman give her special insight that does not apply to anyone else. That’s just bias. As a white male. I would be concerned she would show a preferance to women and minorities. That’s not fair. As such, with her history, if a case conerning my gender or ethnicity made it to the Supreme Court based solely on her vote, I’d ask for her to be recused when rendering a decision due to her obvious bias.
Additionally, this is getting pretty pathetic. Not only has she illustrated repeated examples of bias, but not only does it not bother some legislators, they think it’s great:
“I take enormous pride as a woman in voting for her,” – Diane Feinstein.
Feinstein then states as fact that Sotomayor has a lot of experience. Feinstein won’t discuss the experience. She will however, discuss the fact she’s a woman.
Of course I’m pleased that we will have another woman on the court. I do think it’s important not to just have one. Our nearest neighbor Canada also has a court of nine members and in Canada there’s a woman chief justice and there are four women all told… About half of all law graduates today are women, and we have a tremendous number of qualified women in the country who are serving as lawyers and they ought to be represented on the Court. – Sandra Day O-Connor
Once again, the only issue that matters is that she’s a woman. No discussion on her legal opinions.
The Senate’s top Democrat praised federal judge Sonia Sotomayor Tuesday as an extraordinarily well-qualified Supreme Court nominee whose background as an “underdog” appeals to Americans.
The only discussion about her legal decisions is the fact she attended Princeton and Yale. All of the above basically dismissed Sotomayor’s speech that has drawn a lot of attention:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
None of them want to discuss the reverse discrimination case involving white males. It was a case in which both the judge in the lower court, and the Supreme Court, would side with the victims of discrimination. Being as everyone else thought she was wrong in that decision, it could be argued very easily that her personal opinion on the matter outweighed her concern for blind justice. And, if this were a situation where the law was complicated or obtuse, it would be different. Anthony Kennedy, in the vote to over-rule Sotomayor’s decision, cited this as support for his decision:
Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited a violation of Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC 2000e, makes it unlawful for an employer to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his/her compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin. This covers hiring, firing, promotions and all workplace conduct.
“I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a minority woman who hasn’t lived that life.”