Mier's religious views

Sanford Levinson SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Wed Oct 5 08:49:06 PDT 2005


Just out of curiosity, why recusal rather than resignation?  Imagine,
e.g., that there were several ways in which the Constitution was a
collaboration with evil (including, arguendo, reproductive choice).  To
recuse oneself would be in effect to diminish the number of the Supreme
Court by one in a fair number of cases (and, of course, lead to at least
some 4-4 affirmances of the presumptively evil result).  Why shouldn't
we demand full-time justices, save for traditional conflicts.  This
issue is being raised right now in Tennessee, where a bunch of judges
are refusing to hear abortion cases.  
 
sandy

________________________________

From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Rick Duncan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 10:09 AM
To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Mier's religious views


Sandy: I know of nothing in the written Constitution that is
inconsistent with my faith. For example, the Constitution is silent
about abortion. But if it did contain a right to abortion, I would have
to recuse myself rather than enforce it (just as I would have had to
disobey Hitler as Bonhoffer did). 
 
I think I said in an earlier post that my views about the Constitution
did not change when I converted from non-belief to belief. That is true.
It is the same Constitution now as it was then. And I read it the same
way. Of course, I have changed my mind on some issues as I have learned
more about the Constitution and its history and traditions, but not
because of my faith.
 
 
Rick Duncan

Sanford Levinson <SLevinson at law.utexas.edu> wrote:

	I literally do not understand arguments such as Rick's.  That
is, is it his position that it is logically impossible that there would
ever be a conflict between God and Caesar?  I presume that one reading
of Romans 13 is that since earthly magistrates are appointed by God,
then whatever they require is obligatory upon Christians, but,
obviously, there were many Christians who challenged this kind of
reading.  
	 
	So let me try the following:  With regard to those German
Protestants (or, for that matter Catholics) who gave their allegiance to
Der Fuhrer, did that mean that their "religious faith [was] relevant
only insofar as it instruct[ed them] to be faithful to [their] oath...."
If I'm missing the point of Rick's statement, I'd like to be told
exactly why.    
	 
	sandy

________________________________

	From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Rick Duncan
	Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 9:32 AM
	To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
	Subject: Re: Mier's religious views
	
	
	Of course, Mark is correct in reminding us that everyone's
religious faith (or lack of faith) infuses one's understanding of the
world and of the good life. But many conservative evangelicals (no less
than Catholics or Jews or secularists) can truthfully assert that their
job as a Justice is to interpret the Constitution, and that their faith
is irrelevant to the meaning of the text of the Constitution. She should
say that she will be faithful to the Constitution, and that her
religious faith is relevant only insofar as it instructs her to be
faithful to her oath of office. 
	 
	Rick Duncan
	
	


	Rick Duncan 
	Welpton Professor of Law 
	University of Nebraska College of Law 
	Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
	
	"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow either
Galahad or Mordred: middle things are gone." C.S.Lewis, Grand Miracle
	
	"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed,
debriefed, or numbered." --The Prisoner 

	
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Rick Duncan 
Welpton Professor of Law 
University of Nebraska College of Law 
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902

"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow either Galahad or
Mordred: middle things are gone." C.S.Lewis, Grand Miracle

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or
numbered." --The Prisoner 

________________________________

Yahoo! for Good
Click here to donate <http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate3/>  to the
Hurricane Katrina relief effort. 
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