Monday, June 16, 2008

Empathy: A Judicial Qualification?

"I figure it must be the will of the Lord because it seems so right to me." ~ Dan McBride

It's indeed gratifying to discover that old men can still learn new things. In my case, I have learned my readers are not Opera fans. Or maybe I've learned I no longer have readers. I certainly can't blame anyone for giving up on me. I have been derelict in my blogging duty.

Be that as it may, there have been a lot of events transpire since I last did a serious entry on this blog. I will now comment on a couple of them.

The Supreme Court, by judicial fiat, has determined that the Constitution is not a valid document by a ruling stating non-uniformed enemy combatants have some kind of previously unknown right to be tried in a civilian district court of law during a time of war.

Needless to say, the basis for this ruling is found nowhere within our Constitution, which basically means it's not a Constitutional ruling. Which means our esteemed Supreme Court of the United States is once again roving around outside the bounds of their jurisdiction.

And Obama wants to appoint more of these renegade judicial activists to the bench, if he is elected President, to wit:

"We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom," Obama told a Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, D.C., in 2007 "The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

What does he mean by the word, "empathy"?

I don't know how Obama understands it, but Webster defines empathy (partially) as:

"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; also: the capacity for this."

In other words, empathy is like sympathy, but it's more intense than mere sympathy. Occasionally, men who's wives are expecting a baby experience what is called sympathy pains. They actually experience contractions and morning sickness as if they themselves are pregnant.

That's the best way of describing empathy I can think of.

This is typical of the Liberal mindset here in America. And if anyone fits the description of Liberal, it's B. Hussein Obama.

Liberals feel. Conservatives think.

But I thought Obama was an attorney. Was he somehow missing the day his professors explained how justice is dispensed in America? Was he snoozing when the rest of his classmates learned that Justice is supposed to be blind? Or is he just an idiot?

Empathy has nothing to do with the judicial process. It has no place in a court of law. No matter how unfair it appears to be. After all, in a court of law, fairness is objective. The law has no sympathy, let alone empathy. Ideally, it has only justice. Often times sympathy and justice are in direct juxtaposition to each other.

Whenever there is a point of law being argued, one side always loses. If a judge has empathy, he cannot decide in favor of either side for fear of hurting the other side's feelings. It is not a judge's job to have empathy. It is the judge's job to impartially dispense justice as defined by the Constitution of the United States.

And that's the point. The Supreme Court must dispense impartial justice as defined by the Constitution of our country, not by some legal code of some other country.

And not by their own personal perception of what seems to be right regardless of what is set forth within the Constitution.

Only by our Constitution.

I don't like the fact that sometimes guilty people go free. I don't like it when innocent people get sentenced to prison. I can, and often do, sympathize with people who get the shaft from the legal system.

But it's the law. That's the system designed by the framers of our Constitution.

Is it always fair? Is it always right?

Not always. But one thing is sure:

If Obama has his way, the Constitution will have no relevance to the courts in this country.

15 comments:

Abouna said...

Mark, many times now, I have been trying to the best of my ability to get people to understand, America no longer operates under the Constitution. We stopped being a Constitutional Republic back in 1913. All of our elected and appointed officials of all three branches of the government have and still do violate the Constitution at will, and they only believe in the Constitution and in States' Rights when it suits them. Any other time, they trample on both at every opportunity. And, guess what, it is our fault, "We the people" because we have allowed them to get away with it.

Now we are paying the price and that price is only going to get higher. God Bless America, May She Rest in Peace.

tugboatcapn said...

To tell you the truth, I would rather listen to opera than to the thoughts and opinions of Black Jesus...

The friend of my enemy is my enemy.

These are not innocent goat herders who were scooped up by overzealous U.S. Soldiers and Marines in a frenzy of bloodlust and war fever...

These are not American Citizens who are being denied their Constitutional Rights and are innocent until proven guilty...

These are not Prisoners of War who were simply following orders, were captured wearing the uniform and fighting under the flag of a Foriegn Country against which hostilities have been declared...

These are not soldiers of a country which is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions, and they have never set foot on U.S. Soil.

These are sabotuers and terrorists who were captured on the feild of battle while killing and maiming U.S. Soldiers and Marines and attempting to blend in with the civilians around them for protection and camoflage.

They deserve no protections under the Constitution, nor do they deserve any access to U.S. Criminal Courts whatsoever.

I suppose that our Liberal friends (or should I say, the friends of our enemies?) would expect U.S. Soldiers and Marines, while under fire, to stop and gather evidence of the guilt of anyone they take prisoner, and to read them their Miranda Rights at the time of their detainment?

It is not enough of an outrage that these terrorists and murderers have all gained weight during their detainment, have been provided new Qurans and Prayer rugs, the facility they are housed in has been configured so that the toilets face away from Mecca and such...

In the History of Warfare, prisoners of War have never been treated better.

Even when they are interrogated, they have had it easy by the standards of "Harsh Interrogation" around the World...

But it still is not enough for the friends of our enemies.

They will not rest until U.S. Soldiers are subject to Law Suits and Criminal Prosecution by these people who took up arms against the United States of America.

(But they all support the Troops, dontch'ya know...)

It makes me wonder if maybe we should sequester all Supreme Court Justices for the entire length of their service, so that Political Climate will not affect their judgement in cases like this.

God only knows what kind of lunatics Black Jesus would install for life on the Supreme Court to warp and twist the Constitution at every opportunity for decades...

Jim said...

Dude, you are so off base here it strains belief.

This is the Supreme Court, given its duties and responsibilities by Article III of the document you obviously have little knowledge of. "Section 2. [1] The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States"

And the court ruled according to Article I of the constitution which says, "[2] The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." Since there exists no rebellion and no invasion, habeas corpus may not be suspended which is why the court ruled as it did.

Clueless, is what you are and clueless you will no doubt remain.

Trader Rick said...

The Supreme Court's opinion on the status of the POW's has nothing to do with empathy or law or the constitution in our opinion, due to the ludicrousness of it.

It has everything to do with Treason. These five have chosen their side in the War on Terror, and should be tried and convicted of Treason (Aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war), then publicly drawn and quartered, and then, of course, since they like the Terrorists so much, beheaded.

What is the legal remedy to remove rogue lifetime-appointed judges when they run amuck? There must be some--what if they go senile or insane or, as in this case, vindictive and Treasonous ?

Mark said...

Jim, you are an idiot. These are not American citizens. They are enemy combatants taken prisoner on the battlefield. They have no rights under our Constitution. None.

There is no privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus" for these animals.

Mark said...

Tug, I posted what kind of Judges Obama himself says he will appoint. There's no question he will attempt to install Liberals who feel instead of think to the bench. God help us if he succeeds.

Rick, all we can do is call for impeachment, but calling for it and getting it are two very different things. Nothing else we can do except pray and wait for them to die or retire.

Cameron said...

I think it's important to both feel and think.

Take abortion, for instance.

I've gone around and around and around with many people regarding abortion. Ironically, it's me that is often accused of using feelings (read: religion) instead of reason, despite the fact that I've never used a religious argument against abortion.

Obama apparently wants to appoint judges that are empathetic toward a pregnant teenager.

I feel that being a teenager and being pregnant sucks.

However, I know some pertinent facts about abortion in the United States:

70% of abortions are performed on women aged 20-34. Which puts the "empathy for teenage pregnancy" in perspective.

0.33% are performed because of rape or incest, 0.2% because the life of the mother is at risk, and 1% because the health of the mother is at risk. Again, some perspective. Clearly, if that is the basis for our abortion policy, then major changes are in order.

Also of note, 17% of abortions were for pregnancies resulting despite use of contraception. Which puts our birth control education policies in perspective as well.

But empathy does have a place. While the great majority of abortions are performed as a means of birth control, there are those that are young or scared or both and in need of help. What are the options? Dealing with these situations does require feeling and empathy. It is the lack of empathy that causes girls to look to unsafe and unwise options. It is the lack of real parental sex education and openness that contributes to teenage (and college age) pregnancy. It is the portrayal of sex in our society that contributes mightily as well.

Do 'unwanted pregnancies' have options other than abortion, or must our children be punished with a child?

The Dave Thomas Foundation did a study on adoption. They found that there are 81.5 million people in the US that have considered adoption. The number one reason given for not adopting was 'long waiting lists'. Another oft given reason is the high cost of adoption. There are plenty of families willing and able to adopt, and our policies need to change in order to allow them to do it. (Incidentally, adoption numbers in this country rose exponentially after WWII until about 1970, when they saw a dramatic drop - which is about the same time as Roe v. Wade.)

ELAshley said...

Forget for a moment that the Gitmo Detainees are not U.S. citizens and therefore not eligible to the rights granted U.S. citizens under the Constitution.

Jim cites Article III section 2, but he fails to recognize that SCOTUS has yet again usurped the authority given to another branch of Government. The PRESIDENT is Commander in Chief, not SCOTUS. CONGRESS makes laws, not SCOTUS. SCOTUS exists to interpret and determine Constitutionality, not write laws.

Two articles that clearly point out the problems of this disasterous decision... Fair Warning, long reads.

A Quick Way Forward After Boumediene

The Supreme Court Goes to War

The point is 5 Liberal judges acted on their OWN authority rather than any given them by the Constitution.

Abouna said...

Cameron,
Children are not a punishment. If that is what you believe, then your mother must have been punished with you.

Second, with the schools cramming "sex education" down our children's throats, then how come so many girls are getting pregnant? Apparently sex education, along with all other education in our public schools just isn't working.

Mark said...

Abouna, I don't think Cameron thinks children are punishment. I think he was quoting Obama, who said that.

To answer your other question, I would say the reason so many teens are getting pregnant despite sex education is because sex education teaches them about sex but not about the consequences. They don't teach abstinence, they teach condom usage. Sex education encourages sexual experimentation.

Cameron said...

Abouna, I appreciate your spirited defense of children. Mark is correct that I don't believe children are a punishment. I think raising a child is one of, if not the most uplifting, fulfilling, and self-improving things a person can do.

I think Obama's reference to children as punishment reflects a false understanding of what consequences are.

And I think it's a crummy and flawed argument for abortion.

But I also understand that children raising children is generally not a good idea. That's where the empathy part comes into play. To be in that position would suck. It changes everything.

But I also know that 81.5 million people are willing to adopt. So the "punishment" argument is doubly bogus as far as abortion is concerned.

Cameron said...

As far as sex ed is concerned, I partly addressed it with the statistic showing that 17% of abortions are performed because the mother got pregnant despite the use of contraceptives. So simply passing out condoms will not solve teen pregnancy nor will it prevent abortions. Not to mention the psychological, social, and emotional effects of teen sex. Or any non-committed sex for that matter.

Barack Obama said...

"When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include -- which should include abstinence education and teaching the children -- teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual,"

"But it should also include -- it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old,"

"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby..."

Abouna said...

Trader Rick, even though SCOTUS Judges are appointed for life, they can be impeached. That should have happened way back when they first started over stepping their bounds. Of course, we know that it will never happen (the impeachment of sitting SCOTUS judges) Those in power protect their own.

The impeachment of Clinton was just a sham, even though the Republicans were in the majority, they did not want to remove Clinton from office no matter what. They impeached him for lying under oath to the Federal Grand Jury and even though they found him guilty they still allowed him to remain in Office. They should have impeached him for Treason, but then they still would have let him stay in. The whole dang government is crooked, so we know that they would nothing about treasonous supreme Court Judges.

Mark said...

Jim, I deleted that comment because, besides insulting, it was stupid. If we bring these scumbags into an American civilian court, because they were'nt read their Miranda rights upon arrest, they will all go free without a trial, and then they will be free and in the states where they can feel free to inflict all the damage they want on innocent Americans. Maybe even YOUR FAMILY! How about that, Idiot? What if it was your family that was slaughtered by these animals? Oh right, you'd probably blame that on Bush. Idiot.