Bench Memos

Rebranding Obama’s Lawless Empathy Standard

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post had articles yesterday on President Obama’s effort to rebrand his lawless empathy standard for selecting Supreme Court justices.  Obama’s new rhetorical smokescreen is that he wants justices who have “a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.” 

In a fine post on Power Line, Paul Mirengoff concludes that what Obama “really wants … is a justice who will be animated not by what ordinary citizens think they want, but by what the liberal elite has concluded they need.  In a related vein, I’ll note a recent Volokh Conspiracy post by law professor Kenneth Anderson that nicely observes that the Left’s “intellectual move” in support of “deliberative democracy” somehow always yields the conclusion that “the right process of thinking” on “all the deeply divisive issues of the day” “must ineluctably lead one to think the way … all good and  honorable liberal thinkers thought about these hot button issues.”