In case you haven't noticed it yet, we've just posted a Web-only article by Pepperdine law professor Douglas W. Kmiec on the search for a new Supreme Court Justice. In "The Case for Empathy," Kmiec addresses the conservative idealogues who see "empathy" as merely a code word for abortion rights or other liberal dogmas:
Empathy yields one additional lesson: law is no substitute for love. Yes, it is wrong when the Court usurps legislative function or when it disregards the structure of the Constitution that reserves appropriate questions to the states. Yet it is empathy that gives insight into where exactly no government—federal or state—should be involved. In times past, it may have been possible to count upon church or competing private institutions to maintain this boundary between what is public and what is private, but these independent sources of moral formation have also come to overly rely on the crutch of law’s coercion.In the end, however, coerced morality is without meaning or lasting effect.
Read the whole article here.