Senators Durbin and Brownback

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It's fitting that Senator Brownback begins his opening statement with some remarks about judges to interpret and apply the law, not to write it. Senator Durbin had just concluded his statement by accusing Judge Alito of being the sort of judge who would allow the recent mine disaster in which eleven people died, probably due to disrepair in the mine. It remains to be seen if the mine owners violated the law, but if they did then I'm sure Judge Alito would recommend upholding that law. What he wouldn't do is hold the mine owners to a higher standard simply because the higher standard is something they have a moral obligation to meet. It's not a judge's place to do that. It's the legislature's place to write those laws, or perhaps the executive's place to enact regulations within their jurisdictional range. Judges simply enforce what's there. I hope Durbin isn't recommending that judges write laws to prevent this sort of thing from happening if the law isn't clear or strong enough, but that's what it sounds like to me.

Brownback also addresses the idiotic notion that O'Connor's seat needs to retain her judicial philosophy. He repeats the double standard and points out how convenient it is for the opposition. He returns to the example of Ginsburg, who surely shifted the court way to the left from Justice Byron White. Yet no one complained at the confirmation hearings that it was changing the balance of the court, as if presidents have no right to try to do such a thing. He's really harping on the unfairness of creating a higher standard because of such an issue.

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