“Empathetic” Judges?

In his latest column, Thomas Sowell takes aim at Obama’s search for a new jurist who displays “empathy” to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Souter. Forget just being impartial and enforcing the law. Judges apparently now need to feel sorry for certain groups of people. Apparently “empathy” is the new code word used by liberals to describe activist judges. During the run-up to the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice Roberts I wrote a column for the Tampa Tribune on liberals seeking “mainstream” judges — apparently the code at the time.

A recent column for the Chicago Tribune highlights the justification used by liberals to promote judges who can empathize with people:

There is, after all, a profound civility in understanding how a teenager might feel deeply humiliated by being strip-searched at school or why a woman might feel she can’t complain to a male boss about being paid less than male co-workers.

The question for a judge should not be how the alleged victim felt in a given situation, but rather what the law states. It is, after all, their job to interpret the law, not make decisions based on feelings.

On a personal note, I can’t wait until the confirmation hearings. During the Roberts hearings I became a C-SPAN addict.

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