Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Elena Kagan on the Judge-Umpire Analogy

Because we can never get enough of the judge-umpire analogy on our blog, here you go:
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan says she agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts that justices basically act like baseball umpires in deciding complex legal issues.

But Kagan said the metaphor isn't quite that simple.

She said Wednesday that while judges should be strictly neutral, they also have to exercise difficult judgments. Said Kagan: "They are not easy calls."

At his confirmation hearings, Roberts said justices call balls and strikes. Kagan said the weakness of the metaphor is that it "might suggest to some people that law is a kind of robotic exercise, that there is a kind of automatic quality to it, that we just stand there and call balls and strikes."
Thanks to Associated Press writer and Boston College professor Jimmy Golen for referring me to the story.