Baseball as an Analogy: Obama and Roberts: the View From 2005
There is an interesting commentary by James Fallows at The Atlantic regarding the perspective of Chief Justice John Roberts. The following quote by Roberts comparing the Supreme Court to a umpire in a game of baseball is included :
My personal appreciation that I owe a great debt to others reinforces my view that a certain humility should characterize the judicial role.
Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around.Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them.
The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules.
But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.
Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent, shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath.
But the commentor on The Atlantic concludes the umpire has got the games confused:
it is impossible to see how anyone could describe it [the Supreme Court/Roberts’ rulings] as umpire-like or “reflecting a certain humility.” In the Citizens United ruling, he and his allies set out to answer questions the case itself did not necessarily raise, so as to overturn precedents they considered incorrect. If you’re using the umpire analogy, it would be as if someone behind home plate suddenly yelled “Foot fault!” about a tennis match he saw out of the corner of his eye, with “Pass Interference!” and “Icing” calls thrown in to boot. The potential overturn of the Obama health care law may be desirable or not, according to your own views — but it is anything but “humble.”
Those of you who love baseball or have actually umpired will enjoy this.
(thanks/via: The Atlantic)
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