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August 03, 2009


James Drogan

Marvelously said.

I think most people marked by common sense and an affinity for the realities of the world saw the fuss over "wise Latina" and "empathy" as an engineered diversion by "several middle-aged, white males" lacking capability for little else.

On the other hand, I also take Sotomayor to task for too easily disavowing prior positions. I understand her objective here, but there are times when a demonstration of courage is better than a demonstration of compliance.

Paul Richard

I agree that empathy will play a part in any decision; however, I think the emphasis of a legal decision should be based on facts and reason. It is only during the sentencing phase of a decision that empathy should play a stronger role. However, that is not a phase that our supreme court gets involved in, unless it is a ruling on a law imposing minimum punishments.


Wonderful article Irving. Regarding the question of empathy and 'appling law to facts rather than feelings to facts' I have a few comments. First, of course, there can be no justice if fact and reason are not paramount and consistently applied. Yet jurisprudence is not static, for good reason. For example, what does it mean to say "all men are created equal"? Clearly it has meant very different things over the last several centuries. The quest for improved justice requires empathy because it plays a crucial role in determining exactly what facts are included in judicial reasoning.


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