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Mark Butler, Papillion

Omaha World Herald – PUBLIC PULSE – May 16, 2008

No politics in courts

There was a lot of commentary on the May 13 editorial pages pertaining to judicial activism and which criteria current candidates for president would use to appoint judges.

The World-Herald summed it up by claiming that U.S. Sen. John McCain has it right while Sen. Barack Obama is wrong.

I believe both presidential candidates have it wrong. McCain wants to nominate decidedly conservative judges, while Obama wants to know what’s in the heart of any potential nominee.

“Liberal” and “conservative” are political labels and deserve no mention when considering appointments to the bench. The courts should be not of the left or the right but of a free and just people.

Any candidate who expresses a desire to nominate conservative or liberal judges to the bench risks violating, once he or she would assume office, the presidential oath to protect the principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

If laws involving morality must come before the judiciary, then of course the judges’ personal views and experiences are going to influence their decisions. This isn’t judicial activism but simply a human decision regarding a human conflict.

Otherwise, keep issues of morality out of the courts.

Mark Butler, Papillion

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