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Greenwald makes an absolutely stellar point about the GOP’s pearl-clutching over Sotomayor’s Ricci decision:

It’s hard to imagine anything more contradictory than (a) the right-wing argument that empathy and political opinions have no place in judicial decision-making and (b) the right-wing argument that Sotomayor wrongly decided the Ricci “firefighters” case because what happened to Frank Ricci was terribly unfair and because affirmative action is a bad policy.

Inveighing against Sotomayor’s Ricci decision by touting all the sad things that happened to Frank Ricci (Krauthammer: “he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material”) is to demand that Sotomayor do exactly that which they claim is so inappropriate and which they accuse Sotomayor of doing: namely, deciding cases based on emotion, empathy and political views about affirmative action rather than the law and judicial precedent.

I literally can’t fathom a more glaring self-contradiction than those who are simultaneously objecting to the use of “empathy” in judicial decision-making and arguing that Sotomayor’s Ricci decision was bad because of all the unfair things that happened to Frank Ricci or because of how bad affirmative action is. Anyone arguing that Sotomayor wrongly decided Ricci by playing up the emotions of the case — rather than by citing law and binding judicial precedent, including Second Circuit and Supreme Court cases on the topic — is, by definition, advocating that judicial decisions be made based on empathy and/or the substitution by a judge of her own political views for those of the democratically elected officials in New Haven. Isn’t this too obvious — even in our political culture — not to be immediately understood by everyone?

Either judicial cases — such as Ricci — should be decided on the law and binding, relevant precedent, or they should be decided based on empathy for Frank Ricci and the alleged unfairness of affirmative action policies. Which is it?

{ 1 comment }
  1. Schu says:

    Since they cannot attack her on merit, they must attack her with hate, innuendo, and segment quoting. Something that hate mongers have always excelled on. Half the idiots think that she is Mexican.

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