Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I've written before that many - liberals, to be sure, but those who claim to be conservative as well - care primarily about the decision a judge or justice renders and much less about the process by which that decision is made.

For example, liberals like abortion and, as a result, don't care about the gyrations the Court had to go through to rule against abortion bans. The GOP wanted George Bush to become President in 2000 and, thus, didn't care whether the Supreme Court was injecting itself into something that was properly left to the Florida courts. Conservatives wanted Terri Schiavo to be kept alive, so they didn't care whether the federal courts were being asked to rule on matters properly adjudicated by state courts.

But judges can't simply say "Yes" or "No", they (normally) 'need' - for appearances as much as for legal requirements - to provide an explanation and rationale for their decision.

Sometimes they'll cite precedent... but only if it supports what they want to do. Sometimes they'll cite the specific language of the relevant statute... but only if that supports what they want to do. Sometimes they'll cite popular opinion (or what they claim is popular opinion)... but only if that supports what they want to do.

But what does a judge do when they can't find anything here in the US that can be used to support the decision they want to make?

Easy. They start citing 'international law' as support for the decision they want to make.

Just keep in mind that the likes of Justice Ginsberg don't really believe in the supremacy of international laws and customs... it's simply that international law is the only rationale they can come up with to support the decision they want to make....

... which is just one reason that I think it's a big mistake for the public to hold Supreme Court Justices in any regard... for they are no less partisan than the rest of us.