Share on Facebook
June 1, 2009
By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
It's perhaps not surprising that President Obama, a community advocate, liberal hero, and lawyer from Chicago, should list "empathy" as an essential quality for a Supreme Court justice. The president's Hyde Park neighborhood is soaked in the spirit of America's greatest defense attorney, Clarence Darrow—a man whose character was defined by empathy.
Were he alive today, Darrow would endorse Obama's call for justices who empathize with their fellow human beings. And he would vehemently contest the conservative argument that, as columnist Charles Krauthammer puts it, empathy "stops at the courthouse door."