In the 1920s, the Supreme Court ruled in the Thind case although the man who claimed he was white because many people in india are descended from the Aryans, anyone looking at him could tell that he was dark skinned. Senator Jeff Sessions insists that judges should not allow their “own personal background, gender, prejudices or sympathies to sway their decision in favor of, or against parties before the court.” His assumption is there is something termed “the law” which exists apart from life. In 1896, the Supreme Court in Plessy vs. Ferguson ruled that segregation was constitutional, in 1954, they unanimously ruled it was unconstitutional. Every judge allows his beliefs, his sympathies, his prejudices to enter into making a court decision. Even as Senator Sessions spoke, an anti-abortion spectator shouted that Judge Sonia Sotomayor was “wrong about abortion” because it entailed murder of life. I assume Sessions agrees with that view. If he does, he allows his prejudices and views to impose upon the law.
Republicans appear to believe the Constitution was written by men who believed business interests must always be protected, that national health insurance is at variance with the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers would have agreed today that gun lovers could bring their guns to school, to a bar, to a wedding ceremony and any other place they desired.
We forget in 2009 the Constitution was a compromise document. The Founding Fathers disagreed and wrote a document that could be interpreted. Thomas Jefferson argued for a strict interpretation of the Constitution, but he purchased the Louisiana Territory even though there is no such right specifically guaranteed in the document. He also declared war on the Barbary pirates although the Constitution vests war making power with Congress.
Senator Sessions is a hypocrite. There was no declaration of war in Iraq. The use of torture is hardly consistent with the Constitution. Now, if Dick Cheney wants to argue, modern times require different methods, that at least recognizes we allow our views, our sympathies and our angers to enter into legal decisions.