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Richard Hasen, law professor at Loyola Law School and author of the "Election Law Blog", discusses the ousting of three controversial judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage in Iowa and what it signals to other judges nationwide.
The Constitution says a lot of vague stuff and doesn't flesh out the details:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
What the hell is *that* supposed to mean?
We do not license physicians because they tell us what we want to hear or only give us treatments that are pleasant and good-tasting. Patients with those sorts of "doctors" are soon beyond the help of medicine. Likewise Justices should NOT be subject to popular election. We do not need judges who give us what today's popular wants and demands are. We need judges who base their decisions on law, justice, a living Constitution, and the common good of all. We don't have to like it, but we might wind up beyond help if we judge by what feels good now.
Judges should not be elected officials. They do not answer to the people. They answer to the Constitution. The Constitution trumps the whims of the people.
If we truly want to live in a representative, indirect democracy, we would not elect judges - electing judges is just another instrument of mobocracy.
I like this host! She actually asks tough questions like they do on BBC.
As an attorney, I know that the law doesn't always give black-and-white answers. High court judges have enormous latitude in interpreting the law, and clever lawyers can use the same cases and statutes to argue for opposite rulings. We would be naive to assume that personal ideology never plays a role in judicial decisions
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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