By Andrew Richardson of Richmond, VA
When solving a problem I have found that nothing is quite so important to the process as asking the right question.
It is all about the right question. Do you want your intentions validated or do you want a solution? Too often the questions we see our leaders ask and then answer are the former rather than the latter.
Take the Presidentâ€™s appointment to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor, for example. If you actually want to know just how she will interpret the Constitution there are some questions you need to ask. However, if you merely want to make it appear that those who would potentially oppose her nomination are racist there are entirely different questions you must ask. If your intention is to make her look good, there are still other questions to ask.
As of this moment, I have yet to hear her answer a single question that will show us how she will treat the Constitution. All of the questions asked by the press and Congress thus far have been designed either to make her look good or hurt anyone who might dare ask a question designed to get at her treatment of the Constitution.
Here are some questions I would like to have Judge Sotomayor answer:
Question 1. â€œWhat principles do you live your life by?â€
Question 2. â€œWhat is your view on overturning previous rulings by the Supreme Court that were completely unprecedented at the time they were made?â€
Question 3. â€œWhat place does empathy have in interpreting the letter of the law, if any?â€
Question 4. â€œAccording to the men that wrote it, the Constitution exists to prevent Government from stealing the freedoms of the people. What criteria would you use to determine if a personâ€™s freedoms were being infringed upon and how would you go about protecting that individual?â€
The problem is that when a judge decides to legislate from the bench, it is extremely difficult for the will of the people to overcome it. When the Supreme Court decided that because a farmer was using wheat he grew to create bread for himself and his family he was not buying wheat from out of state and thus could be regulated by the Federal Government, an avalanche of regulation was allowed to pour down on the people of this country uninhibited from DC. We have still not overcome the oppression caused by that ONE decision so many years ago. It was never voted on, it would never have passed into law had it been, but our lives are fundamentally different because of it.
Given those stakes, can we afford to gamble on Sotomayorâ€™s appointment? Our freedom hangs by a thread; if we are ever to turn the tide and restore freedom to the people of this country we must fight anyone who promises to restrict that freedom any further. If she is willing to set national policy from the Supreme Cour, how can any of us, Republican, Democrat or Independent, trust that our freedoms will be secure?
I guess the question for us is, â€œCan we afford to take the chance on Sotomayor?â€
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