TEAR UP THE RULE BOOK, CARPENTER

At the end of a piece about the rare occasions on which Alito sided with the poor, the downtrodden, and the huddled masses in his lower court rulings, Emily Bazelon writes:

In almost none of these cases, though, does Alito seem like a little-guy champion. He seems like a judge who dutifully follows the law. When the law instructs him to find for the criminal defendant or the plaintiff, he does so. When you get to the Supreme Court, though, you get to rip up the instruction manual and rewrite it. There’s very little in Alito’s record that suggests his revisions will favor the little guy.

Just so we’re clear: Alito’s record as a judge indicates that he only rules for the little guy when the law dictates that he should. And this is really bad, because we need Supreme Court judges who are willing to “rip up the instruction manual” (I believe it’s known as “active liberty” jurisprudence these days, but maybe Bazelon didn’t get the memo) to help the little guy, or at least the little guy as defined by Ted Kennedy. And the way we should pick them is by nominating lower court judges who have . . . torn up the instruction manual on the lower courts? (Like this guy, I guess.)

MORE FREY: Why he – and many “memoirists” these days – probably meant to write a novel.

– posted by Ross