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ReVision

Presidential Judgment

It now seems certain that Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be confirmed as the newest member of the United States Supreme Court.

In voting with the majority to pass her nomination out of committee, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham deferred to what he regarded as President Obama's ability to choose "wisely" in this matter. It's safe to suppose that all those with whom he voted, and who will confirm Ms. Kagan in the Senate, concur.

But if that is so, if the President really is so wise in selecting judges, then why is the Administration leaning on the Brits and Scots to try to reincarcerate Libyan terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi?

You will recall that al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds last year, shortly after President Obama made his first nomination to Supreme Court. At that time, asked what he was looking for in a judge, the President stated that he wanted someone who was "compassionate."

Yet when a Scottish judge acted on just such grounds, the President was outraged, and his Administration continues to seek to overturn that "compassionate" action to this day, especially in view of the fact that that decision seems to have been, shall we say, ill-informed.

So the President wants compassion in his judges, but he resents compassion in a judge when such is actually expressed. Perhaps the President reserves the right to dictate the terms of compassion? Or maybe he only wants judges to act in compassion toward certain people? For example, not necessarily military recruiters (we must suppose). Or has the President come to the realization that there are other, more important grounds, for rendering judgments than compassion? Like, perhaps, "justice and only justice"?

It just strikes me as a little far-fetched to be deferring to the President's wisdom in selecting judges. Or in much else, for that matter.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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