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July 10, 2019


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Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

A law prof who can't fathom any factors that might influence how to judge someone's ability to make sound legal judgments (the definition of "acumen") beyond a self-referential list of the credentials that law school hiring committees find important in hiring a law professor: a role that, thankfully, truly affects a very limited number of people in usually inconsequential ways.

Acumen, in this context means, "the ability to judge well; keen discernment; insight," "keenness of judgment or insight" etc.

Lubet might have started by borrowing the criterion identified by folks he undoubtedly uncritically supports:

CBS News: "'I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life,' Sotomayor said in a speech at 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley, law school. She made similar statements at other such events."

NYT: "A year after Mr. Obama made “empathy” one of his main criteria in picking his first Supreme Court justice, he is avoiding the word, which became radioactive, as he picks his second nominee. Instead, he says he wants someone with “a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.”

He could have referred to the factors I mentioned in the previous thread as well, but, presumably under the pretext that an unsigned comment isn't a comment, he doesn't.


It is a hoot to see how the political processes succeeded in turning empathy into a bad characteristic when lack of empathy is one of the hallmarks of a sociopathic personality. Just another sign of the nutty times we inhabit.



The distinction is that we are not speaking of decisions based on personal notions of "empathy" when we speak of enforcing laws.

For example, the death penalty. If the law permits it, should a judge simply refuse to enforce it because she feels "empathetic" toward the condemned?

Ask Rose Bird.

It is sad, indeed, when "progressives" essentially argue for a society ungoverned by the constitution and other legal checks, but instead for a lawless society ruled by a junta, a vanguard, that governs based on what they think is required based on "empathy."


So sad to read your reply. You obviously misunderstand what it means to have empathy. An empathetic individual would have empathy for those who seek to enter our country, those who object to their entry for a variety of reasons as well as those who support greater access to entry by others, etc.
You are off in the weeds chasing and joining various political factions.


How does anything you are saying relate to "legal acumen"? How do you relate feelings about immigration with any issue being discussed? Why does being "sad" about a comment, or a policy, or a "law" strike you as relevant?

Should a judge ignore the immigration laws, for example, because, like you, the judge is "sad"?

There are plenty of folks arguing exactly that point today. They are called, generally, "progressives."


Ankn, work onit, you may get there. Bye!

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