This past week has seen a couple very large decisions kicked down from the Supreme Court which I think has brought back out one of the more irritating aspect of political discussion, namely the "activist judge" angle. For those of you that have either never heard of this or don't live in this country, this is the idea that there are federally appointed judges that are making rulings based on their own beliefs instead of what happened in the case or the sentencing laws state should be a person's punishment. Depending on which way the decision leans, you will always wind up with people on the other side complaining and acting like what the judge in question did.
Do you know what I say when I hear talk like this?
All I can say to them is "Duh!"
Once you've reached the level of being appointed by the sitting government, most of your cases wind up being heard without the benefit of silly things like a jury of the accused peers. At trials like this, it all comes down to how the judge feels and how he interprets what he has heard. Along with the straight word of law, to think that a judge would not use parts of his own personal experience when he makes a decision is just plain stupid. If that was the case, then you wouldn't have Presidents always trying to pick a person to appoint to a judgeship within their own political ideology. They are banking on the appointee basing a good portion of their decision on their own personal beliefs when it comes down to those cases that mean a lot to their political base or the people that got them elected in the first place.
It doesn't help the situation when the talking heads on radio and television seem to not want to admit that this situation cuts both ways. You can have a right leaning judge make a decision on a sensitive case and the left wing people would be all over the it with complaints about bias and other naughty things. Reverse it and you have the right claiming that the left leaning courts are trying to steal away all of their individual rights as if that could happen.
The political arena is almost always run by smoke and mirrors. There are a lot of bills that get passed or decisions made that we will never know for sure if they are an honest interpretation of the law or just full blown bias. With all of that under considertion, it seems mighty stupid to me to say that none of the judges that I agree with fundamentally are good and decent human beings.