Thursday, June 4, 2009

what he said

Duke law professor John Hasnas in the WSJ makes the argument I wished to make about the "unseen" but provides a series of examples that drive the point home more convincely and then states the conclusion more succintly:
The law consists of abstract rules because we know that, as human beings, judges are unable to foresee all of the long-term consequences of their decisions and may be unduly influenced by the immediate, visible effects of these decisions. The rules of law are designed in part to strike the proper balance between the interests of those who are seen and those who are not seen. The purpose of the rules is to enable judges to resist the emotionally engaging temptation to relieve the plight of those they can see and empathize with, even when doing so would be unfair to those they cannot see.
Calling on judges to be compassionate or empathetic is in effect to ask them to undo this balance and favor the seen over the unseen.

I would apologize for my inferior writing skills but I seem to be in good company... "Sotomayor ... nearly flunked out of her first year at Princeton because her writing skills were so poor..."

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