Sotomayor and the emotion card
Today Rueters wrote about Obama's Supreme Court nominee: "The battle over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor
began to take shape on Wednesday as liberal supporters praised her as an independent legal thinker and conservatives argued she likely would rule based on her emotions rather than established precedent."
Naturally. A woman can't possibly come to a different conclusion than a man, say Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh, holds unless she is basing her opinion on emotion. As though Gingrich and Limbaugh don't invoke emotional responses to rile up their followers... Sometimes I feel like banging my head against the wall. Haven't we gotten beyond the women are emotional, men are rational fallacy? I expect to hear such things from the Taliban or Saudi MPs, not from American senators and pundits!
Senator Jeff Sessions went further saying, ""We should not confirm somebody to the Supreme Court that will allow political, personal or emotional issues to influence the decision making."
This is like saying we cannot allow ethics based on religion to color our voting. Patently ridiculous. Ethics are derived in many different ways. Freedom of conscience means we can't tell people where they have to, or cannot, derive their ethics from. One person, one vote means we can't tell people how they have to, or cannot, vote. We have the Constitution to protect religious, philosophical, racial, ethnic, etc minorities from majority tyranny.
So too, law can be interpreted in many different ways. If that weren't true, we wouldn't need a Supreme Court to begin with! Yes, interpretation is based upon the words of the legal code, but it is also based upon the judges understanding of the intention of that legal code. And one's understanding of how certain rulings will impact society, the effect they will have on the population, both majorities and minorities, effects how one rules -- whether one is conservative or liberal, rich or poor, from a majority community or a minority community. Expecting a judge to rule without reference to his or her politics, personal experience, or even her or his emotional response to an issue is like asking someone to vote without reference to their morality.