Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Empathy Need Not Apply for the Supreme Court…

Justice is blind. Lady Justice does not care if we are Black, White, Hispanic, Chinese, Male, or Female, she only cares about the consistent and blind application of law to every individual American citizen. Justice Roberts at his nomination made the analogy of what a judge does to the role of an umpire.

An umpire at a baseball game does not care what the players look like, where they came from, whether they grew up rich or poor when calling balls or strikes. If the team that has more minorities than the other tries to steal second base during a game, the umpire does not need to show empathy to that team as he makes the call at second base because the call is the call. The rules are clear and must apply to every player the same.

To suggest that the traits of a judge need to include empathy, and understanding what it is like to be poor shows the ignorance of the president and media in selecting good judges for any court but especially the Supreme Court. Members of the Supreme Court are the ultimate umpires in legal disputes and understanding the constitution (the rules of the game), and applying them blindly is the only real qualifications needed.

If Major League Baseball started hiring umpires that made calls based on empathy and an understanding that the teams that always lose need special considerations to win the entire league would fold. No one would ever go to a game again because the rules are what make it fair, and if the application of the rules is not evenly applied then people watching will have no confidence in the integrity of the league.

By nominating a person like Sonia Sotomayor based on the “qualification” of empathy the integrity of the court is in question. Will she rule differently for Black people than Hispanic people? Will she be more empathetic to women than men? Will she favor the poor over the rich? If she does favor specific groups and you are not in the group being favored how will you feel?

There is a reason Lady Justice is blind; there is no reason a president should be…

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