"Empathy" By Any Other Name

From today's Washington Post -- with feeling:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), one of the Senate's leading abortion rights supporters, said she will not specifically ask Sotomayor about Roe but said she has no reason to doubt Sotomayor's position on the issue. "I feel as comfortable as I could possibly feel," Boxer said.

From today's New York Times -- with becoming modesty:

In a conference call convened by the White House on Wednesday to build support for Judge Sotomayor, Kevin Russell, an appellate lawyer, tried out another phrase to describe her approach: judicial modesty.

David Brooks, with his characteristic modesty and feeling, issues an Augustinian plea for a pedagogy of the emotions:

Right-leaning thinkers from Edmund Burke to Friedrich Hayek understood that emotion is prone to overshadow reason. They understood that emotion can be a wise guide in some circumstances and a dangerous deceiver in others. Its not whether judges rely on emotion and empathy, its how they educate their sentiments within the discipline of manners and morals, tradition and practice.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is the author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination.

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