[Philosophical Storybook] The Wise Judge

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Simply because you may disagree with his opinions does not make them badly written or poorly reasoned, nor does it make them unprofessional.

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The Justices actually write less from a personal ideology than commenters give them credit for -- it is actually the biased readers that are reading the opinions through their own ideological lens that tend to see ideology everywhere. But instead, from the very first moment, he wanted to establish that he was the equal of much more senior justices. He was dominating oral arguments. He was trying to steal opinions from other justices, and all of his actions were designed to show the others that his views were the only correct views.

How is your comment responding to mine in any way? Lots of people hate Scalia. No lawyer alive will deny his impact on the profession though. Scalia says his greatest accomplishment on the Court has been to reduce the influence of "original intent. But hey, why read source material when you already know what you want reality to be? Those are from the first page of google searches for "scalia original intent", but thanks for the education.

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Throughout the ages, the aged were revered for their wisdom. To read a headline that questions the value of judges because they are old is truly mind-boggling. When you state it that way, yes - no one is accusing anyone of senile dementia. That said, it would be remarkable indeed if 9 out of 9 didn't experience any of the normal decline in mental acuity that is common with advanced age. Ginsburg's reasoning in a case involving warrantless searches that was discussed in a TE piece a while back, it was embarrassing to her IMO.

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Was that age or just poor drafting by her clerks, who do the bulk of the writing, and sometimes the thinking too? Term limits is kind of twitchy, but a mandatory retirement age - why not? It's to no one's benefit to have them hang on until they're damn near dead, is it? As one who doesn't believe that the interpretation of the law should change from what it was originally understood to mean, I prefer older judges. The mental deterioration is troublesome though.

Here's a proposal: Each term, the president gets to replace the oldest justice above 65, in addition to filling any vacancies. Also, the oldest ninth above 65 of the circuit and district judges. What a delightful and well reasoned piece, S. I am with you all the way, inclusive of the caveat at the end.

I would add only this, and this is not an insignificant bit -. So we are back down to talking about an individual of substance and merit. Marshall and Jefferson were a match for many centuries to come. The gods are not so kind as to give us both as contemporaries, or even one, at any time. Remember how old Jefferson was when he wrote the Declaration?

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And Marshall? America was on the brink of "declare or die", and Jefferson came along. Slightly thereafter, "restrain or not live", and Marshall came along.

America has, since then, judicially, become a very "spoilt" nation - complacent, unthought, morally shallow, not exactly overflowing with intellectual giants. For my money, Ginsburg and Roberts are the most intelligent of the 9 justices, and possessing intellectual and judicial integrity. And Kagan and Sotomayer are the most in touch with reality of "the people" after all, USA is a democracy, or purport to be, right? The stench of race-based, gender-based, and religion-based hatred is thicker than the trapped odor of rotting pizzas in the 3-story below Lexington Subway Line in NYC.

Somehow, these whiners are convinced everything that doesn't work out in their lives is the fault of an immigrant, a woman, or a nonbeliever. The last being claimed by certain "Believers" in America that "nonbelievers" invented prostitution and all other moral decrepitudes, not the least of which fiscal corruption - not even the words of the Pope - Pope Francis - get into their ears.

As things stand now, people of a certain age are tasked with the responsibility to make value-judgments that will govern others for decades to come, but with which they themselves will have almost no involvement. It's a little bit akin to miserly oldsters who strive to rule their heirs' lives from the grave, isn't it?

The disconnect between the authority to decide and the tenure of life under the decisions, it's not entirely irrelevant, is it? Is there nothing to be said in favor of having institutions of government be broadly reflective of the general population they serve? Is it improper to point out that several of our institutions are grossly unreflective of our society? Thanks for reply. All good questions. If the last is directed to me, my answer is we do not benefit as a society if we condemn anyone who raises good questions.

The more good questions the better. And the fewer quick-fix answers the better, for the simple reason quick-fix answers tend to generate their own new questions. In terms of oldsters who make decisions for heirs based on a fantasized involvement from the grave, this is a tricky one. Some oldsters make pretty good decisions that pan out for their heirs. Some make lousy ones.

It depends on who the oldster is. Needless to say, some youngsters make very poor decisions even as they may be very clever.

That too depends on who the youngster is. As to Catholic and kosher, again it depends on who the Catholic is who the kosher is. For USSC, ideally the justice's religious belief, gender and race have got little to do with their judicial thinking. My own impression is Roberts and Ginsburg are good examples of how this can and does happen.

I have high respect for both. I agree several of our institutions are grossly unreflective of our society. But America is so young a country relative to most other countries in the world. It is still in the throes of growth pains. For any institution to reflect in an adequate manner the element it represents is too much and too early to ask. Oldsters have a unique perspective to offer, but they aren't the ones who have to face the future shaped by the decisions made today - it's the middle-aged and younger who do. Better IMO if the older give advice, as opposed to taking decisions, and those who have to live with the consequences decide for themselves if the advice is appropriate for them.

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The old fools like me won't be around to care one way or the other how things play out. Or the fact that all of them came from just two law schools? This is why Thomas recruits clerks from non-ivy league schools. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

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For this world in its present form is passing away. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. He is not sinning. They should get married. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.