Friday, May 29, 2009

Should a Judges Background have an Impact in their Rulings?

Great question. While most would say that it will have an impact, should it have an impact. Even the most conservatives of justice says that it does. For example, take Samuel Alito, who said the following:

Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position. [...]

And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.

And I agree, our backgrounds do affect our decision and they should. We learn from our experiences. We talk about experience in a candidate, but then we talk about how personal experience should not affect people's legal decisions. We cannot have it both ways. We are shaped, as people through the experiences of our past.

What do you think?