Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Justice without values?

Why is the American press so relieved for the nomination of Justice Miers?
Ok, she doesn't appear to be a right wing extremist, but hey, is that a relief? First, nobody seems to know what are her deepest convictions. Secondly, she has never been a judge, so there is no guarantee that a good lawyer can become a good justice. The reason is precisely that a justice in the US Supreme Court has to dwell with a number of value-decisions, which does not seem to be Mrs Miers cup of tea. As for Justice Roberts, commentators say that she'll be a good, pragmatic, lawyer, working on a case-by-case basis. Again, is this a guarantee of fair decisions? Far from clear... O'Connors might be remembered as a non-ideological justice who determined the outcome of many cases by her swinging. It is difficult to assess the long term impact of her swinging, though. It may well be that so much swinging leaves too many ambiguities that can be exploited by those who are more ideologically minded. The senate will have to press Mrs Miers more than it did with Justice Roberts, because the US do not want to go to justice blind-folded when it comes to its fundamental rights.

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