Thursday, July 21, 2005

Also on MSNBC: Americans want Robert's position on abortion

This just in. Apparently the majority of Americans care about John Robert’s position on abortion. In related news, the majority of Americans also care about John Robert’s position on the Atkins diet, and the majority of Americans really want to know Roberts’s all-time top five desert island albums, should he ever be stranded with John Cusack.

Robert’s position on abortion doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter to his being confirmed to the Supreme Court. Of course, questions about his judicial philosophy as a whole are entirely relevant, but Roberts would never have been approved to be on the Circuit Court in the first place if his judicial views were found to be unacceptable by the legal community.

Roberts’s nomination has already drawn cries that he should not be confirmed if his views are “outside the mainstream.” Not to sound elitist, but most Americans don’t have any real understanding of Constitutional law to begin with. The views of most lawyers, judges and legal scholars on Constitutional Law are probably outside the mainstream of a public that has little understanding of the complexity of legal issues. Of course, this is not to say the public in general has no role in the debate over legal issues. But judging a legal professional’s views based on an uninformed conception of law is a bit like judging a doctor without any expertise in medicine. Obviously, we’re all capable of pointing out the quacks, but clearly, John Roberts is no quack.

Case in point, Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade is a contentious legal issue, and the reason for that contention has nothing to do with the fact that abortion is contentious issue itself. The American public as a whole can tell you their views on abortion, but most people would have trouble articulating a legitimate legal rational as to why Roe v. Wade should either stand or be overturned.

The point is, as the lonely libertarian has noted time and time again, is that judges should be judged on their legal views and techniques, not on the results that they reach. And a pretextual look at Roberts's Constitutional methods should not be utilized as a means of determining his position on abortion.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kerry said...

The point is, as the lonely libertarian has noted time and time again, is that judges should be judged on their legal views and techniques, not on the results that they reach.

Ahh, but the general public do not care about their legal views and techniques. The general public care about the outcome of those views and techniques because that is what affects them. It's kind of like saying (excuse the bad example) "The general public should care about how the toilets in their workplace are cleaned and what skills and techniques the cleaner used, instead of caring about the end result and the hygiene of the actual toilet they sit on".

Obviously, the reason citizens of the USA (or any country for that matter) critique the outcome of these cases, is because that is what is most relevant to them. Just like when you watch a movie, you don't particularly care to know how it was directed and what went on behind the scenes, you just wanna watch the movie.

But yes, I agree with what you're saying and I also find it frustrating at times.

2:56 AM  

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