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Honor the Law, Not Feelings or Favoritism

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Democrats opposed to the Supreme Court nomination of Neal Gorsuch cite his “legalistic” failure to show consistent favor to “the little guy” against big corporations. But Gorsuch defenders insist that an impartial judge can’t allow emotion to tilt the scales of justice.

In this, Gorsuch echoes both his mentor, Justice Scalia, and the Bible.  In Leviticus 19:15, God commands:  ”You shall not commit a perversion of justice; you shall not favor the poor, and you shall not honor the great.” Prophetic books, and the New Testament Book of Acts, make similar points, describing God as “no respecter of persons” who applies standards equally.

Traditional Jewish commentators insist on a crucial distinction between charity–which is a personal obligation to show mercy to the unfortunate–and justice–which is a communal responsibility to honor the law above feelings or favoritism.

We must, in other words, remain a nation of laws, not men; of principle, not personal preference.

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