quote of the day from think progress:
i really think one afternoon, [obama senior advisor] david axelrod leaned back in his office chair and said, "i know, let's see if we can get all the republicans to denounce the concept of empathy."
president barack obama, on supreme court justice souter's prospective replacement:
i view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes. i will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role.
utah senator orrin hatch:
well, it's a matter of great concern. if he's saying that he wants to pick people who will take sides, he has also said a judge has to be a person of empathy? what does that mean? usually that's a code word for an activist judge. but he also said that he's going to select judges on the basis of their personal politics, their personal feelings, their personal preferences. now, you know, those are all code words for an activist judge who is going to, you know, be partisan on the bench.
rnc chairman michael steele:
good morning y’all, we’re back in the house. we’re talking a little bit of constitution and a little bit supreme court. and a whole lot of saving america’s judicial system and saving our rights as citizens and not having empathetic judges decide cases, but rather judges who are actually understanding the rule of law and what the constitution and those laws are all about. and how to apply the facts to the law and the law to the facts. and adjudicate my case. i don’t need some judge sitting up there feeling bad for my opponent because of their life circumstances or their condition. and short changing me and my opportunity to get fair treatment under the law. crazy nonsense empathetic. i’ll give you empathy. empathize right on your behind. craziness.
update: bush attorney general alberto gonzales:
i do worry a little bit, well, i worry, i worry about about justices on the court making decisions based on what they think makes them feel good. i don’t think it’s fair to expect society to anticipate the outcome of a case based upon what makes a justice feel good. in essence what you’re saying, i think, is that i’m going to, i don’t care what the law says, i’m going to come out, i’m going to pursue an outcome that i think is fair and just. i’m going to rewrite the law. and i think that’s dangerous.