The Locker Room

Punch...Judges and One More Post on Kelo

Posted by Kent Lassman at 10:06 AM

In order to beat George to the punch, here is a link to Professor Sowell's essay de jour at RCP. He tackles the mainstream thinking that dominates jurisprudence.

In particular, I'm enamored with his application of Hayek's principle of local knowledge. To wit:

There are trade-offs made by attorneys on the scene and more familiar with local juries than anybody in a marble building in Washington can possibly be. Supreme Court Justices themselves are bound to know that. But the liberals among them take every opportunity to put obstacles in the way of executions.

They are in the mainstream.

He then elaborates on why judicial nominations are so politically contested.

The very desperation in political fights over judicial nominees is a clue to what is wrong with our legal system. It should not matter very much which particular man or woman becomes a judge, if that person has the competence and the integrity to apply the laws and uphold the Constitution.

The reason it matters enormously is that, over the past half century or so, many judges have gone beyond their judicial roles to impose their own policy preferences. Since these kinds of judges have almost invariably imposed policies favored by liberals, they have been cheered on -- not only by liberal politicians, but also by most of the media, the law schools and the intelligentsia.

Also, I found Lynne Kiesling's rundown of Kelo commentary interesting. I think that she is overly hopeful that the ruling is enough to swing the pendulum back toward respect for private property...but hope should count for something.

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