Bench Memos

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Durbin, Southwick, and the Judicial Role


Ed has done a great service in unmasking the lies and smears about Judge Southwick that Dick Durbin in particular, and other Senators, are spewing upon command from their handlers in the liberal extremist groups.

I just want to mention another typically misleading claim by Durbin, because it goes to the fundamental problem here: that he and his liberal cronies who want judicial activists on the bench insist on perverting the judicial role under the Constitution, and then vilifying others like Judge Southwick who refuse to assent to that perversion.

Durbin said on the Senate floor:  ”At Judge Southwick’s nomination hearing, I wanted to be fair to him and I asked him maybe one of the easiest questions you could ask of a nominee. I asked him to name a single time in his career or in his life when he took an unpopular point of view on behalf of the voiceless or powerless.  Mr. President, he couldn’t name a single instance.  And I thought perhaps that wasn’t fair.  The judge should be allowed to reflect on that question. I will  send it to him in writing, ask him, was there a time in your life when you sided, for example, with a civil rights plaintiff when your court was split?  He couldn’t name a single case in his judicial career.”  (emphasis added)
The reason, I submit, that Judge Southwick “could not name a single instance” is that “siding” with anyone is so foreign to his (correct) conception of judging that he naturally has not done so.  A judge’s job is not to “side” with anyone.  It is not even to side with the “voiceless” or the “powerless.”  (Senator Durbin:  is there anyone more “voiceless” or “powerless” than an unborn child?  What if Judge Southwick had said he “sided” with such a voiceless, powerless person?  Would that have satisfied you?)  
Good judges do not side with anyone.  They rule impartially and blindly based upon the law.  And they don’t keep mental tallies of how many times their rulings have benefitted plaintiffs, defendants, civil rights claimants, unborn children, the poor, the murderous, or anyone else.  Senator Durbin, can you recall a single instance in your career when you have ever understood this truth about impartial judges in our constitutional system?    

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