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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Liberal Judicial Bias and Prejudice

The Supreme Court has made a recent decision regarding Miranda rights. In this decision, we see further evidence of the persistent bias and prejudice of the Court's liberals. Each of the Court's 4 liberals sided with a convicted murderer of a child, who said his admissions should not have been used against him, because he chose not to speak for 2 hours before admitting to the crime.

Miranda rights are the famous words uttered when one is arrested in America: "you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney..."

The question before the court was whether the accused must affirmatively say, "I want an attorney and to remain silent," or whether the police can question him until he does make such a statement.

In the 1960's, the Court addressed the treatment of prisoners and the accused. There is little doubt today that this was needed. Prison conditions were unacceptable and many people were being incarcerated under highly suspect evidence. However, honest progressives will admit that much of the Court's action in addressing this problem was either flat unconstitutional or judicially legislated additions to Constitutional law. Progressives will argue that this was necessary and justifiable by the morality of the issues and times.

Miranda rights are nowhere in the Constitution. Justice Sotomayor complained that this decision "turns Miranda upside down." However, the question is, who cares? Miranda is really more of a judicially imposed rule of evidence, very loosely rooted in Constitutional doctrine. The Miranda theory is that Constitutional rights are no good unless the suspect is apprised of them. This makes sense to me. The Constitution spends a lot of space granting rights to the accused--clearly, this is important. However, the Court could do away with the requirement altogether, and there would be no Constitutional problem.

"Turning Miranda upside down" is no more unconstitutional than Miranda itself was to start with.

The Problem With the Liberals

The problem with the liberal justices is that they cannot get their minds out of the 1960's. I can understand that they were right about a lot of things then, and conservatives have accepted that. But liberals cannot fathom that the problems we face today are simply not the same. Today, although we certainly have some of the same problems, we also live in a nation where massive efforts have been undertaken to address those problems. Today, we have the new issue to address of which of those efforts to retain and which to dispense with. But the liberals are simply not interested in this debate because they know that they would lose so much of their failed ideas. Therefore, because of their stubbornness and prejudice, decisions like this last one pass them by, without their influence.

In the 1960's, the Court's liberals addressed a real problem. Their intellectual descendants (today's liberals) did not adopt the original liberal's desire to address real problems. Rather, they created and maintain a bias and prejudice that the problems addressed by the original liberals are always present. In fact, some argue that such problems are inherent--justifying their persistent bias. Because of this bias toward particular parties, the liberals have cases decided before they ever even look at them.

Ronald Reagan said that a liberal could not see a fat man standing next to a skinny man, without thinking the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the skinny man. In that spirit, I would assert that if liberal judges really had their way, trials would be about determining the relative affluence and wealth of the respective parties. The weaker party would always win. The merits of the case are a mere trivial pursuit. After all, the Court's job is to balance the inequities of society with its intellectual hand, right?

Instead of this ridiculousness, the Court should seek justice. Justice, to me, is a human sense of fairness and morality. This is why juries decide cases. It doesn't mean that everyone thinks the right outcome came about--that is impossible. It means that everyone knew--or should have known--the rules and that everyone feels like the system genuinely tried to enforce those rules. Whether the rules are fair or not is generally a legislative function. It is often a function for the judiciary, but the judiciary must be modest, and recognize that this is not its primary function, nor is it a function it is well suited for.

Justice is personified by the goddess Themis. Themis is blindfolded. She carries a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other. This view is that justice does not care if you are rich or poor, or black or white or whatever. She merely weighs that merits of both sides with her scale and enforces the law with her sword.

The Court's conservatives have accepted many liberal precedents. Miranda is one of them. However, in enforcing Miranda, the Conservatives are weighing the merits of Miranda against the needs of law enforcement. Conservatives have been guilty of a bias toward the state many times. But this Court, under Kennedy's influence has been the great balancer--balancing the Constitution with the mid-20th century progressive precedents which undermined it.

Kennedy has some fidelity to both, but he generally understands this Court's mission is not to turn a progressive precedent into a persistent bias--but rather, to decide which precedents are good, which are bad, and ultimately to uphold his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

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