The Corner

The Left’s David Souter?

Over at the Washington Post, Jen Rubin makes this observation:

Obama, of course, doesn’t care one bit about deference to legislation passed by a democratically elected legislative body. He is concerned with outcomes, namely that the Supreme Court rubber-stamp his agenda. (Strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, uphold Obamacare, etc.) As do many on the left, he is convinced that whatever legislation he likes is constitutional and whatever he strongly objects to must offend some constitutional provision. This mind-set perfectly reflects the degree to which judicial review has become a matter of subjective preferences for the left.

Ironically, Obama’s appointee Justice Sonia Sotomayor seemed to discern in the administration’s argument an overreach not consistent with federal principles of preemption. Kudos to her; she seems to not be operating, as she told law school gatherings once upon a time, as a “wise Latina” but as a justice responsible for determining the meaning of the Constitution and the laws that come before her.

For too many on the left, judicial philosophy approaches deconstructionism (or postmodernism, if you prefer) — the literary, interpretative fad that posits that words have no fixed or objective meaning. In the literary realm, all that is lost is intellectual rigor. Unfortunately, in the political realm such a viewpoint leads to the disintegration of the rule of law.

No wonder the left abhors the “conservative” justices (watch out, Justice Sotomayor) . . .

It’s still too early to tell, but wouldn’t it be a hoot if Sonia Sotomayor turned out to be the Left’s David Souter? It sure would be nice to see a justice from the other side “grow” in office, the way ours sometimes do.

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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