Thursday, October 13, 2005

Faith and Works and the Bench

Cal Thomas's latest article covers much of the same ground as Linda Chavez's did yesterday, but comes from a different angle. He's interested in what having a deeply religious person on the court means, and the answer he comes up with is troubling.

He quotes Miers longtime friend, Judge Hecht, who suggested that Miers religion wouldn't dictate her legal opinions, because judges are required to decide cases on the basis of law, not their own opinions. Mr. Thomas finds that troubling.
From that answer comes this question: If Harriet Miers can easily set aside her faith on the job, what is the point of nominating someone with such faith? Why not nominate someone of no faith and the question would never come up? Is faith good only for the confirmation process, but not the job?
The article continues in this vein (and could stand some trimming, truthfully). The main point seems to be that if you want a person of faith on the court, well, that person should base her decisions on her faith.

The implication is that Miers opinions on the divine should supersede her decisions on what the constitution says (Thomas excuses this by pointing out that different people have different opinions on what the constitution means). One wonders if Mr. Thomas would be equally comfortable if Ms. Miers were a devout Buddhist and planned on letting her philosophy guide her judicial decisions? One doesn't wonder for long, because the answer is self evident. Christianity gets the pass; all other religions and philosophies do not.

That doesn't seem like a good basis for a free society. I like the old way better, where we were a nation of laws and judges decided based on the constitution, the law and precedents. Seems more fair.

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