The Unconstrained Vision

Last October, National Review interviewed Dr. Thomas Sowell on the topic of his 1987 book Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles which had just been re-issued. I wrote about it shortly after the interview appeared, and excerpted some of the exchange from the second portion of the video interview. Please do go read the earlier piece for the necessary background information.

Here’s the pertinent portion for this piece:

Peter Robinson: Let me give you a couple of quotations. John McCain in the presidential debate of October 16 on the kinds of judges he would nominate to the Supreme Court:

“I will find the best people in the United States of America who have a history of strict adherence to the Constitution and not legislating from the bench.”

Barack Obama during the same debate:

“If a woman is out there trying to raise a family, trying to support her family and is being treated unfairly then the court has to stand up if nobody else will, and that’s the kind of judge I want.”

Thomas Sowell: That’s unconstrained. That somehow or other there are people with the judicial robes on who can just decide these things ad hoc, which among other things would mean we would no longer really have law. You would discover, once you got into the courtroom in front of the judge, you would then discover what the decision is, but you would have no clue beforehand.

Robinson: So that would. . . A full embrace of the Unconstrained Vision, which Barack Obama seems intent on, would overturn the fundamental basis of American law which is a nation of laws, not of men, . . .

Sowell: Absolutely.

Robinson: . . . it would be a nation of men, of judges.

Sowell: Yes!

And now, the words of Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee:

A nation of judges, not laws.

As long as the “right people” are in charge. Right?

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