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Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bride of the Son of Chefjef on Judicial Nominations

I'll let Chefjef have the last word on this topic. His bottom line (penultimate paragraph) is correct, however you take the specifics of the case. He may very well be right about them. I hope he is.
NOTE TO CHEFJEF (and other correspondents): If you get beyond about four paragraphs of commentary, please append the additional material in new comments. Haloscan appears to be truncating the remarks, as you'll see...

I agree that the two liberal justices' opinions may not meet a "reasonable man" test regarding the sentencing issue. But, they are not supposed to meet such a test. The reasonable man is applicable in certain situations, and not in others. In this situation, it isn't. What is not present in the final opinion is the previous Supreme Court opinions. That is, the case actually went before the Court three times; on the first two, the death sentence was actually vacated by the majority and sent back to the trial court to "re-do" it based on the errors the Supreme Court found. Thus, much of the arguments and issues involved, and the Supreme Court's opinions, aren't in this "final" opinion.

That being said, the minority position does not seem to me to be born of a relativist ideology. I am familiar with the influence of relativist moral principles within the broad range of philosophical jurisprudence, particularly in regards to crime and punishment; forget not that I completed my first year of law school at a large, mainstream school (Southwestern) where I encountered morally relativist materialism in legal thought. But I don't see it in her judgeship's opinion.

What I see in her opinion is a difference of opinion on the majority on the Florida Supreme Court saw as important and worth discussing. The question, then, is why the minority had the difference in opinion. In theory, an embracing of relativism could be the reason, but nowhere in the opinion is there anything that suggests she abides relativism. Since she opined that the offender should be sentenced to life in prison (as opposed to set free), it seems to me that the fact that she believes the mitigating factors - in conjunction with the (alleged) fact that in Florida other perpetrators of similar crimes have, more often than not, not been put to death - outweigh the aggravating factors, in and of itself, does not demostrate that a moral relatist position belies her jurispridence.

While, as I said before, I concur with the majority in that I believe the aggravating factors, pursuant to Florida statutes, do not outweigh the mtigating factors and that death should have been affirmed in the Dougan case, it is clear to me that a learned person could view the factual setting of the case in a manner similar to the minority, and have one of several philospohicla positions, to include, but not exclusive to, relativism. Without more explicit statements from the minority, it seems to me that reading the minority's opinion through a predetermined ideological prism (as many on the Left do with some of Scalia's brilliant opinions) is the only way to conclude otherwise.

Having said that, I find relativist philosophy to be a danger on several fronts. I find it a danger to to legal jurisprudence, a danger to military efficacy and discipline (it seems to me to be having tangential effects in...


I'd like to see the rest of your comments, but Haloscan won't let me...


Chefjef replies:

Oops. Sorry about that. I don't have a copy of the post, but the last two paragraphs essentially state that I see a growing problem with relativism within the church, and that it is important that people such as Monk continue to highlight the issue. I also asked other readers of this blog to weigh in on the issue in the hopes of sparking more interest in the issue.

I did go into some detail about the influence of relativist philosophy in the church, particularly as it has manifested itself in California churches, how it has indirectly (and negatively)effected organization and discipline in the Army during the past decade and its effect on the pracice of law. Suffice it to say that, to some degree, my departure form California, my reluctance to practice law and my (soon) transfer from the Army ot the Air Force can be attributed to the effects of the influence of relativist thinking on these institutions.


Roger all. I'd be very interested in hearing more about the manifestations you saw in CA churches. It would make a good post.


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