Thursday, March 23, 2017

Neil Gorsuch and his "I'm just here to help the team" statements

Listening to some of the answers Neil Gorsuch was giving to the Senators during his confirmation hearings the last couple of days, I was reminded of a scene from "Bull Durham".  (Warning: R-Rated language)

Now, I understand that you have to say stuff like "Heller/Roe/whatever is the law of the land" so you can impress (or confound) the Senators questioning you without really saying anything they can blow you up with, and you get confirmed.  I do - I get it.

But here's my question:  at one time, Dred Scott was the law of the land, and if we applied this sort of legal logic, especially at the Supreme Court level, we would still be sending free blacks back to their southern masters.  Is that really what we want?

My point is that the legal doctrine of Stare Decisis only goes so far, and one of the jobs of the Supreme Court is to overturn bad precedent, rather than just slavishly sticking with it because that's the way we've always done it here.   That's just crazy.

So if Judge Gorsuch really believes in the "precedent uber alles" method of legal decision-making, then we have a problem here.

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