“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Monday, June 21, 2010

David Souter's Faulty Logic

Two attorneys and law professors, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport, wrote a nice little piece in last Monday's Wall Street Journal revealing Supreme Court Justice's David Souter's shocking inability to employ logic correctly.

The authors noted Souter's recent Harvard commencement address, wherein the quirky Justice decried original intent as a "simplistic" reading of the Constitution. He then went on to hail Brown v. Board of Education as an example of using current social values to overrule the Constitution.

However, as McGinnis and Rappaport explain, this isn't true. The Plessy decision which Brown reversed was, itself, a product of then-current racial realities, as interpreted by that era's Supreme Court. Plessy, thus, was an example of what Souter claims to favor, but, oddly, a case which he then supports having been overturned.

You can see the problem. Souter comes down on both sides of the issue. He was against Plessy, a decision which exemplified his view that the Constitution should be molded to fit current societal values. Then he also supports the case that overturned that prior case.

More evidence that some Justices need to just be ignored, because they can't manage to reason their way to a simple, consistent, logical conclusion.

Time for those Supreme Court and other federal bench term limits.

No comments: