August 22, 2007

More distortion of Southwick's record

The Washington Post published yesterday a piece written by Nan Aron, President of the Alliance for Justice, in which Ms. Aron continues the campaign of character assassination that has been relentlessly carried out by liberal special-interest groups opposing Judge Leslie Southwick, nominee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ed Whelan has already done an amazingly thorough and convincing job of dismantling Aron's arguments in a series of three posts:

(1) re-capping the truth of the two most oft-cited cases in the leftists' attempts to paint Southwick as a racist and a homophobe;
(2) revealing the facts of the two new cases Aron has trotted out in her new attempt to paint Southwick as a heartless and "unjust judge"; and
(3) asking some serious questions about Aron's methodology in this latest attack, which relies on scare tactics and unrevealing 'statistics'.

There seems very little left to add to Whelan's withering critique, but it's worth pointing again to the fact that the best arguments Aron can come up with in her opposition to Southwick are based on emotion rather than reason. Her accusations amount to an indictment of Southwick for somehow showing a "lack of compassion" toward "the powerless, the poor, minorities or the dispossessed". But while she is certainly entitled personally to take issue with the outcomes of the cases she has cited, it is frankly dishonest of her to use these cases - lifted out of the context of their legal precedent - as 'evidence' that Southwick is unfit to be a Circuit Court judge. Andrew Hyman gets it right when he reminds Aron that
"Judges follow laws, and they follow higher courts. Judges aren't free agents, nor should they be. If the statute of limitations is unfair to people like Annie Cannon, then Aron ought to take it up with the legislature rather than with the judges."