The Corner

Circuit Breaker

As New York Times Magazine hatchet jobs go, yesterday’s Deborah Sontag cover story on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals was a small masterpiece. Note the understated way in which she reminds us once every two pages or so that Virginia was part of the Confederacy. I especially liked this concluding thought: “It would certainly help many Americans sustain their faith in the system if the courts could find their equilibrium, if they could become less ideological, less predictable and less political.” Actually, I think predictability is a very good thing in a legal system. The Times could, however, get by with a little less of it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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