Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—September 22

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) listens during a news conference in the Capitol in Washington on February 6, 2007. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

2005—Explaining his decision to vote against the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice, then-Senator Barack Obama concocts his lawless “empathy” standard for judges, as he contends that judicial decisions in “truly difficult” cases require resort to “one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.… [I]n those difficult cases, the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.”

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