Opinion

Passions and beliefs are human nature: even in the Supreme Court

It is a pathetic and depressing day in this country when tough questions can’t be asked to one of the nine people in our government supposedly protected from the shadows and filth of Washington.

Responding to the questioning of Jan Crawford Greenburg, ABC’s Supreme Court analyst, Chief Justice John Roberts played with subjects such as high school football, while lecturing between the history of court and which justice answers a knock on the door.

Jan Greenburg’s effectiveness as a reporter for ABC depends on the sympathy she receives from the Justices and their council. Choosing a friendly relationship with Justice Roberts above strong and significant questions led to a loose and pointless interview. Is there no one who will stand up and ask the questions we need answered?

Justice Roberts was chosen by President Bush because of his conservative beliefs. To ignore that fact would be ignorant. So why does this man, whose beliefs and decisions have the weight to outline our entire lives, not feel responsible for sharing his ideas? And why isn’t anyone questioning that?

Roberts quoted Alexander Hamilton, claiming his views have no impact in the courtroom: “Neither force, nor will, but merely judgment.”

The quote, from Hamilton’s Federalist #78, is passionate and patriotic, giving hope to a legal system blinded in the name of justice. Sadly, Hamilton’s ideas have been consistently proven wrong throughout history. When Dred Scott stood before Chief Justice Roger Taney in 1857, surely the Justices’ misguided, ethnocentric love played a role in declaring slavery legal. Just last year, when the court ruled against the use of medicinal marijuana, making a decision that previously rested in the hands of the state, surely the politics of the executive branch had some push.

The truth remains that love, politics, and the law will unquestionably, at some point, mesh. Their ideas and boundaries are too hard to hold down and too difficult to separate, for our passions will become our beliefs, and our beliefs will unfold into our notions.

This is not a shortcoming of the Supreme Court or any realm of politics; rather, it is a fundamental trait of human nature. If we are open and honest in our sentiment and straightforward in our beliefs and notions, then we will see that love already has its seat in the court, and passion has its stance in the political arena.

“My own view is there is a lot more to life than politics,” Justice Roberts said in his speech. We should all heed this man’s advice. Step back, take a look at our lives, and understand that our love and passion holds weight in everything we do. Don’t hold them back, let them carry you forward.

Corey Ciorciari is a sophomore majoring in creative writing and business management. He may be contacted at c.ciorciari@umiami.edu.

November 17, 2006

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