For reasons that are unclear (my friend sent me a link) I opened an article of Thomas Sowell's. If I haven't taken my medicine (Pepto-Bismol and Prilosec), I try not to read his work. His writing is almost indistinguishable from whatever the Republican party line is. So, today the party line is "Empathy" versus Law.
When you start from this position, you can't find any place that's reasonable. His premise is that it is impossible to be empathetic and follow the law at the same time. I completely reject that premise. Just because you have empathy for someone or some cause does not mean that they're necessarily right or that they've necessarily follow the law. The definition of empathy according to Merriam -- Webster is the "action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner." Nowhere in that definition does it say to ignore the law.
It is 2009. The Supreme Court is made up of seven old White men, one Black man (who hates the fact that he is indeed Black) and one old White woman. How does this Court represent America? As these nine Americans deliberate on everything from civil rights to civil liberties to torture to property rights, would the decisions of this Court change if there were five women and four men (which would be much more representative of the population of the United States?) Thomas Sowell argues to consider such things as race and gender proves that we have "strayed from the purpose of law." Really? How? If I'm looking at five qualified candidates (use whatever definition of qualified you want to use) and four of them are White males and one of them is a White female shouldn't gender be discussed? If not, why not? It would be different if we lived in an equal society where women and minorities have been treated equally for hundreds of years, but that's not the case. We live in a society where everybody is not equal; therefore, women and minorities may see a situation differently. They will view some laws differently than White males. It is this diversity which makes America great. Shouldn't we try to get this same type of diversity on the Supreme Court? The answer is, of course, that we should.
The fact that this columnist decided to lower himself by comparing Barack Obama's oratory skills to that of Hitler's makes me want to vomit. The comparison debases his argument.
Sowell then launches into the danger of picking someone who doesn't understand the Constitution. So the fear is that Barack Obama will choose Beyoncé or Jennifer Lopez to be on the Supreme Court? Where's my emesis basin? What did Thomas Sowell write about Samuel Alito? Justice Alito wrote an extensive paper on the Unitary Executive back in 2000. There's no mention of such a thing in the Constitution. As a matter of fact, the founding fathers were very much aware of King George and his dictatorial ways. The Constitution was written in order to prevent one person from wielding all the power. That was the purpose of three, dare I say it -- co-equal -- branches of government. Yet, Samuel Alito supports such a radical idea. A quick literature search finds that Mr. Sowell did write about Samuel Alito but never mentioned that unitary executive theory. I wonder why. Maybe because it wasn't in his talking points script that he was given that day.