It's Only Activism When Liberals Say It

It's Only Activism When Liberals Say It

It's Only Activism When Liberals Say It

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
May 28 2009 5:45 PM

It's Only Activism When Liberals Say It

Jason Linkins has a great piece up at Huffington Post quoting Justice Samuel Alito on the virtues of judicial empathy. ("When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.") And also quoting Antonin Scalia on the power of courts to "make law." To which I add a brief P.S., also from Scalia, concurring in James B. Beam Distilling Co. v. Georgia :

I am not so naive (nor do I think our forebears were) as to be unaware that judges in a real sense "make" law. But they make it as judges make it, which is to say as though they were "finding" it-discerning what the law is, rather than decreeing what it is today changed to, or what it will tomorrow be.

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How come when Scalia says it, he’s calling 'em as he sees 'em? But when Sotomayor says it, she’s a free-range liberal activist? Note to Sotomayor: The trick is to never apologize.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus.