ChewbaccaDefense wrote:Dan2016 wrote:ChewbaccaDefense wrote:aphronesis wrote:Not sure why you need to fall on " you guys". It undercuts anything you may have said.More on point: your suggestion that economic doesn't hit juridical has zero basis. Zero.
I disagree completely. It isn't that economics plays no role in their constitutional philosophy, it's that it is merely a component of an overall constitutional philosophy on their role in shaping our country. If you read their writings, any of their writings, you will see a dedication to ethics that exists nowhere else in our government. That is the part that I don't think "you guys" are either heeding or giving any credence. You're all wrong. Period. They are not the politician who takes special interest money in order to further their career, and then mold their actual policies to facilitate continued access to that capital. They have no need for that, and that is the distinction I am making, and there is zero basis to believe otherwise. Zero. When I refer to "politically motivation," I am referring to the compromised ethic that substitutes genuine economic, social, or protective philosophy for graft and continuing the power of the position they hold.
It's interesting reading this debate. I've not followed it in full so my apologies in advance if I'm jumping in out of context. The bolded in your post above suggests you don't make the category distinction between a person's writing and their personal beliefs and actions. That can be problematic, though I fully acknowledge I may be misunderstanding your point. In the context of the judiciary, money, politics etc., I thought these articles were interesting and hopefully relevant, simply as a contribution to the discussion (I don't feel I know enough about this topic to have a strong personal opinion):
But others see the Blankenship controversy as a proverbial canary in the coal mine for what top judicial scholars – including Justice O'Connor -- are now calling an alarming political trend. The amount of money flowing into these contests, O'Connor told a group of Georgetown Law students last month, has become "a threat to judicial independence."
"If both sides unleash their campaign spending without restrictions," O'Connor said, it will "erode the impartiality of the judiciary."
A study of rulings in 276,000 cases in Washington state by Carlos Berdejo of Loyola Law School and Noam Yuchtman of the University of California, Berkeley found that judges gave criminals sentences that were 10% longer when they were about to face re-election. Another study by the left-leaning Centre for American Progress found that races that cost over $3m led to more rulings favouring the prosecution. At a time when many states are concluding that harsh justice is expensive and counter-productive, elected judges may prove an obstacle to reform.
Slightly at a tangent, there was something you wrote previously that I found interesting, along the lines of, and forgive the paraphrasing, '''I am very protective of our judiciary because in every way they are the great hope for our democracy''. With respect, it could be fairly argued that this is a naive belief. Though I would add, in fairness, what does ''great hope for our democracy'' really mean? It's a nebulous phrase. Do you believe that the judiciary exists as a system of pure ethics, an entirely beneficent force? (that's not a loaded question, it's genuine, it just piqued my curiosity).
One last comment, and I hope it doesn't appear adversarial, it's just a polite suggestion to 'file away', so to speak; you wrote something previously along the lines of ''I actually work in the courts and you don't...you don't know what you're talking about''. This is an 'argument from authority' fallacy. It doesn't strengthen your argument. Neither does ''You're all wrong. Period''. In fact there's an old adage along the lines of ''whenever an argument from authority is trotted out the debate is lost''. An authority on a subject is required to present a credible argument like everyone else.
Take my post as a 'just popping my head in'. Hopefully a contribution in some way. It's not intended to support one side or the other or add to any 'fussin and fightin'.
You missed my point completely. I did not make a statement that covered any of the judges in the articles you posted. I also do not believe in electing judges. The articles you posted do advance that argument. Supreme Court Justices are not elected, and I confined my arguments almost exclusively toward them. Please read more carefully the arguments I posit if we are going to engage in a discussion, because I cannot debate points I didn't make.
My apologies. The error inherent in quick scan readings of posts. There have been exchanges on the topic of judges as well as justices and I missed the point you were making. Thanks for putting me straight and not just ignoring (which would've been justified). My questioning of your contention that they have a dedication to ethics that exist nowhere else in government still stands and was relevant, but was lost I think in my other irrelevancies.
Anyway, I'm interested in your definition of 'politically motivated', as used in the pejorative in the context of this discussion. It appears to be quite a narrow definition, though I obviously appreciate quick forum posts don't necessarily reflect your complete argument, nuances and so forth. But tying it to economic influence does seem narrow, and debatable both in definition and in practice. On a psychological basis I instinctively question your argument, in the context of the psychology and machinations of people in positions of power, the unconsciously biased, partial beliefs and actions, but I know my instinct is objectively meaningless, so I don't have a 'dog in the fight', I'm just interested. I think the article below is more relevant than my previous. It's a summary of a much more in depth piece, link embedded, which is a very interesting read, for me at least. It's not necessarily a rebuttal to anything you're saying (though it may be) it's just a point of discussion around supreme court political motivation and ethics. I'm more interested in understanding your argument than trying to disprove it:
Tom Edsall used his blog at The New York Times early this week to return to what he called the “80-year-old debate between those who contend that the Supreme Court decides cases on the basis of abstract principles of law and those who argue that judicial rulings are based primarily on political and economic considerations.”
It’s a long substantive piece in which Edsall aggregates a number of recent scholarly takes on that issue, so don’t attempt it unless you care about that issue. Edsall doesn’t enunciate a big ultimate finding of his own, but it’s obvious that Edsall — who leans left but is relentlessly substantive — and the scholarly community have concluded that — on the biggest, most important, most controversial cases — most of the justices are ruling along ideological-bordering-on-partisan lines. Suffice to say, the headline on the piece is “Supreme Injustice.”
Stone found that many justices break ranks with their usual bloc on many cases, but almost never on the biggest, most important cases.
Of course, the fact that they tended to vote by familiar blocs doesn’t necessarily reflect bias. It could be that by their judicial philosophy liberal and conservative justices tend to look at things differently. So Stone tested that idea by examining the rationale cited by the two blocs to see whether they sort neatly into those in which the liberals engaged in “judicial activism — overturning precedent or ruling congressional actions unconstitutional (commonly associated with liberalism)” — and those in which conservatives engaged in “judicial restraint (commonly associated with conservatism).”
Stone is just one scholar. And his method surely leaves some room for his own beliefs to express themselves. But in the big conclusion of his study, Stone ruled that while the liberals do seem to be voting their philosophy, the conservatives are voting for their personal policy preferences, which tend to favor the wealthy. The pattern of their decisions cannot, he argued, be explained by either of the two major intellectual themes of conservative legal thinking, judicial restraint and originalism.