October 18, 2014

Justice versus Law

As readers may recall, I am a fan of Richard Kopf's blog, Hercules and the Umpire. While I may sometimes disagree with him, he is a smart and thoughtful sitting United States District Judge who is willing to share his views on a variety of interesting topics. An advocate of transparency, he is one of the few judges who speaks his mind, a trait sorely lacking amongst the judicial branch of government.

He has recently revisited the question of doing justice versus doing law. Where some see the role of the judiciary as being the former, Kopf plainly believes it is the latter. Interestingly, he sees his inability to fully grasp the notion of doing justice to his lack of religious faith, whereas true believers are determined to do justice in all their endeavors. (He also comments favorably on Christopher Hitchens, which is a definite plus, although Hitchens took some harsh positions with which I strongly disagreed. No, not his attack on Mother Teresa, I sort of enjoyed that one).

As a fellow non-believer, I struggle somewhat with Kopf's notion that "justice" may be beyond our reach. Whatever your personal take, it's a meaty topic worthy of further thought.

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