Archive for May, 2009

What if he was a foreigner?

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Michael Phelps Beijing swimming octo-medalist Michael Phelps admitted to using marijuana. He had to serve a three-month suspension imposed by USA Swimming after a British tabloid published a photo of him using a marijuana inhaling device in South Carolina. Had Mr. Phelps been applying for admission to the United States (or attempting to adjust status in the United States), he could have been denied admission for admitting to a controlled substance crime. He could also have been denied admission on…

How can you ignore empathy in judicial decision making?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

President Obama commented yesterday on qualities he will look for in a Supreme Court justice to replace the retiring Justice David Souter. The President said, “I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”  Senator Orrin Hatch commented that empathy is not the law. Presumably, to him, empathy is not a relevant factor in interpreting the law. The public and the media that…