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JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT

Andrew Sullivan [1]has it part-right…(He usually does have it at least part right)… when he speaks of Judge Scalia. He says, in part:

JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT: It’s odd, isn’t it, that in Supreme Court debates, we always hear an enormous amount about various judges’ “philosophy,” their paper-trail, their alleged politics, and so on. Much of this is helpful enough and sometimes relevant. But surely something else matters as well, and that is the correct temperament to be a judge. It should match the temperament of an umpire – not a pitcher or catcher or any other role. What troubles me about Antonin Scalia is not so much the substance of his views (although I share very few of them) but the angry, sarcastic, bitter tone of his judgments. David Broder had a similar take last week. Part of what it takes to be a judge, in my mind, is a certain indifference to passionate advocacy, a sense of moderation, and prudence. If someone cares as passionately as Scalia does about the moral issues in what he has called the “culture war,” and if he isn’t even interested in moderating these passions in his judicial rulings, then it strikes me that he is not acting as a justice should act: with dignity, care, distance, and respect for alternative arguments.

Sullivan’s problem of course is that he’s being driven by a homosexual agenda.  As such, he does end up with the occasional hole in his logic, as in this case. What he doesn’t see, perhaps, is that Scalia’s anger is because of judges who are not judges, but rather are acting as “passionate advocates”. Ginzburg comes to mind as a prime example, as does, alas, Day-O’Connor.