A judge’s duty is to apply the law as written. They are not there to judge the impact of the law but to apply it.

In the zombie movies the rule is “If I become infected, kill me.” And in most zombie movies a loved one becomes infected and instead of destroying them then and there a judgement is made as to the impact. “It will hurt me to much to lose my child/wife/husband so I’ll ignore the law.”

It almost always ends badly.

In the opinion, the three liberal justices repeatedly warn of the devastating impact of the end of Roe, while emphasizing that the majority’s ruling breaks with core tenets of court procedure.

We’ve been having discussions about the impact of Row v. Wade for years. How many women will be affected by restricted access to abortions vs. the number of babies killed by abortion?

The Dobbs opinion ignores the impact and instead focuses on what the law actually says. What was written, the Rule of Law.

This is the difference between progressives and conservatives. A conservative can be very unhappy over an opinion but will judge that opinion by the Rule of Law. We’ve lost cases because the law wasn’t in our favor. And when those rulings go against us, we attempt to modify the law through legislative means.

A progressive judges everything by its impact. As part of that they apply modifiers based on who is arguing. Thus they can argue the states should have the right to pass laws in one breath and the next argue that the federal government should make the controlling laws. They feel no conflict because they judge based on the impact, not the Rule of Law.

Paul Schiff Berman, a professor at George Washington University Law School, said dissenting opinions help foster “a culture of argument” around America’s laws.
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“It reflects the idea that law is not just a set of rules but is an argument about how to put society together,” Berman said. “Even a view that is not going to be the law of the land at a particular moment in history nevertheless gets articulated in the public arena, so people can see that there is a debate going on that they can be part of and that these things change over time.”

The progressives want the court to be another legislature. The goal is to create an opinion that achieves the outcome the left wants. It is not the rule of law but “how to put society together.” It isn’t about careful, critical analysis of the issue at hand but in writing for the masses with what they want to hear.

The descent of the liberal judges always have emotional foundations. The arguments are seldom about why the conservative opinion is wrong on a legal stand point but rather how it is wrong on an emotional or pseudo moral basis.

— The Guardian What the liberal justices’ scorching dissent reveals about the US supreme court

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By awa

6 thoughts on “SCOTUS: Impact vs The Law”
  1. Another way of looking at it: progressives start from the conclusion they want (which generally is “maximize centralized power”). Then they search for excuses to justify that conclusion.
    The WV v. EPA case is another illustration of this.

  2. “A progressive judges everything by its impact.”

    Almost — progressives judge everything by its impact on their power. If it gives them more power — especially power to kill or mutilate — they’re for it. If it removes that power from them, they’re against it and will use any rationalization to oppose it.

  3. A related question – what does a person in power do, when the judgment is not in their favor? See for instance NY and CA re permitting; and what the EPA’s planned response to Dobbs.
    .
    It almost seems to me as if the Left are begging for this to all come to come to a head, e.g. near-simultaneous “make me” moments from several disparate decisions. The court, for good or ill, has no (or, rather, no significant) enforcement arm; and the executive and legislative branches are disinclined to acquiesce gracefully decisions with what they disagree. I am, therefore, rather worried about how all this will play out.

  4. How I’ve always thought about it is: A conservative judges based on what the law is and says, but a “Progressive” judges based on what he/she thinks the law should be and ought to say.

    As part of that, a conservative will defer to legislative intent if such can be determined, but a “Progressive” will push for increased government power (or decreased individual power) every time.

  5. “A judge’s duty is to apply the law as written. They are not there to judge the impact of the law but to apply it.”

    There’s one more thing; Judges also have the duty – whether or not you agree on ‘judicial review’ or not, the court has that power, de facto, or de jure – to determine whether a law is constitutional. In other words, have the people, via The Constitution, given goobermint the power to legislate upon a certain subject?

    1. Indeed. And I remember at one point thinking there’s merit in the notion that judicial review is unconstitutional. I changed my mind when I looked at the reasoning in Marbury: “It is emphatically the role of the court to say what the law is”. That, and the observation that the Constitution tells us this, and that something written on paper in a manner contrary to the Constitution “is not law” settles the question to my satisfaction.
      Apart from that, it helped when I considered the alternative, which is what the Dutch (my native land) have. There, the thing that calls itself the Constitution says various things about the powers of government (mostly that it has lots of power) but then in article 120 says explicitly that no court shall judge the constitutionality of any law or treaty. In other words “This constitution is void when prohibited by law” — it may claim to limit what politicians can do but in fact no limits are enforceable.
      Given that, I’ll stick with the views of Justice Marshall.

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