Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman contributed an op-ed to the NY Times this week that argues against the presumption that Supreme Court Justices should be apolitical. What is it about those robes, he wonders idly, that leads Americans to think of judges as being “innocent of worldly vanities, free of political connections and guided only by the gem-like flame of inward conscience.”
In point of fact, he argues, Chief Justice John Marshall spent his first month on the court as the secretary of state of the United States. Justice Robert Jackson was the chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, Justice Owen Roberts headed the commission investigating the attack on Pearl Habor. To therefore lambast Justice Scalia for participation at an event organized by conservative billionaire Charles Koch, and to do the same to Justice Thomas for his wife’s activities in organizing Tea Party-offshoot Liberty Central, is to hold the two current Justices to standards outside of what was expected of Justices past.
Read all of Noah Feldman’s piece HERE.