The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Judge not lest ye be judged

I was reading an article about how the Euro might collapse. The author offered 6 "triggers" for that event. Regardless of whether you believe the author or not, I found a phrase in the article which stuck with me. That phrase was "will be decided by the country's top judges." (emphasis is mine)

We pretend that we live in a meritocracy in the U.S. That the cream rises to the top. That we recognize the best and brightest and support their advancement. Yeah, right. The truth is we resent the success of others and we distrust those who are smarter or more successful than ourselves. Oh, I know that you and I don't do that, it's those other people I'm talking about, isn't it? The ones who are jealous of your achievements.

At one time, just aspiring to high political office was admired. Today we just assume a person doing so is power hungry, corrupt, or ego-maniacal. Or all three and worse.

At one time, we thought the Supreme Court was populated with the finest legal minds available. It was probably never true but we thought it. Don't believe me that they aren't? Go examine these rulings:

Dred Scott v. Sanford
Plessy v. Ferguson
Buck v. Bell

There are many more. Some you may find offensive and "wrong" but were based on sound legal reasoning. Some you may find necessary and "right" but were based on creative interpretation of either precedent or Constitutional phrases.

And the "top judges" in the U.S. are often vilified by political office holders, even by presidents.

As I was growing up in south Florida, there were highway billboards calling for the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren. [link] Primarily, I think, for the Brown v. Kansas Board of Education. He was even called "the biggest damned-fool mistake I ever made." by Dwight Eisenhower, the president who appointed him!

Warren was a Republican who turned out to be quite liberal on the bench. One of the many surprises that have occurred with Supreme Court nominations.

During FDR's terms (including Truman's first term), the court was stacked with those who supported the New Deal agenda. Still, a few of these opposed what is called "judicial activism." It became clear during this period that court appointments were political in nature. When politics becomes the primary criteria, the qualifications become secondary. And then we know that the best and brightest are not being advanced, just the ones deemed most loyal.

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