When I got to the office this morning, I turned on C-SPAN, which was rerunning the confirmation hearings all over again. While I was listening, I heard again something that caught my ear yesterday.
Senator Sessions: I think that yesterday you indicated that the court could consider foreign court opinions as they could “learn about how other people might approach” and think about approaching legal issues. And you said, well I guess “I’m in favor of good ideas coming from wherever you can get them.” I think some of the judges on the court have used that phrase, but ideas sound like policy to me. It does not sound like authority to me.
Is Senator Sessions arguing that judges shouldn’t have ideas? That having ideas per se might undermine the authority of the Court?
On one level, it’s a bit frightening, but, on another, it’s Chief Justice Roberts’ “balls-and-strikes” theory of judging extended to its absurd, inevitable conclusion.