Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Gee, what a novel concept - conservative judges only look at the Constitution. Imagine that, upholding your responsibility as a judge.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says he frequently makes decisions about a law's constitutionality by considering its purposes and consequences, which puts him at odds with fellow justices who try to adhere strictly to the language of the Constitution.
"I tend to emphasize purpose and consequences," said Breyer, who was nominated for the high court by President Clinton. "Others emphasize language, a more literal reading of the text, history and tradition — believing that those help you reach a more objective answer."
As examples of his own stress on consequences, Breyer pointed to two decisions last year involving the Ten Commandments.
He decided a display of the commandments in front of two Kentucky courthouses was unconstitutional because he concluded their display would cause religious conflict. But he found that removing a similar display that had been in front of the Texas State Capital for years would not, so he ruled it constitutional.
If Breyer wants to ponder consequences, he should consider running for office. He is a brilliant man, but judges should not decide cases based on the consequences of a decision. Cases should be decided on what is the law. It's up to voters and elected officials to deal with consequences.
Breyer Says 'Zero' Politics on the Court - Yahoo! News