Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Monday Medley

What we read while trying to find Ann Romney a job…

Monday Medley

What we read while being thankful for the stuff we bought on Black Friday…

On Empathy and the Law

According to President Obama, “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily reality of people’s lives.”  While Obama valued legal prowess as a necessity for becoming a Supreme Court justice, “empathy” was a tiebreaker that ultimately led to the nomination of Sonia Sotamayor.

There have been two main lines of thought on empathy since Obama has emphasized it. Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and other liberal commentators maintain that understanding the feelings of other people is frequently beneficial for reaching good legal decisions: “When did the simple act of recognizing that you are not the only one in the room become confused with lawlessness, activism, and social engineering? For a group so vociferously devoted to textualism and plain meaning, conservative critics have an awfully elastic definition of the word empathy.”
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