Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Souter? I Barely Know Her!

A very nice piece written about retired Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter. He gave a long disquisition on Constitutional interpretation. It doesn’t quote him nearly enough:

A choice may have to be made, not because language is vague, but because the Constitution embodies the desire of the American people, like most people, to have things both ways. We want order and security, and we want liberty. And we want not only liberty but equality as well.

These paired desires of ours can clash, and when they do a court is forced to choose between them, between one constitutional good and another one. The court has to decide which of our approved desires has the better claim, right here, right now, and a court has to do more than read fairly when it makes this kind of choice.

Do yourself a favor and read The New York Times Article, or go straight to the text of the speech itself.