Politics v. Philosophies

2012-07-30

I stand corrected. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia went on Fox News Sunday saying: “I don’t think the court is political at all”.

Antonin ScaliaAntonin Scalia | Fox News

He conceded, though, that people might have that impression, but that’s because of how the justices are selected – for their “judicial philosophies”. Republicans choose “originalists and textualists and restrained judges”, Democrats choose “the opposite, people who believe in Roe v. Wade”.

So justices don’t vote their politics, they vote their philosophies. Fine. There is no reason not to take Scalia’s word for it.

Whether, however, at the level of the Supreme Court there is any significant different between philosophy and politics, would be an interesting conversation. Both are fundamentally about values, after all.

What is clear, though, is that there is no lack of political skills on the Supreme Court. To make his colleagues choose between either being an “originalist” or being “pro-abortion” is such an artful form of slanting, that I once again tip my hat to Scalia.

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