December 15th, 2010
03:58 PM ET

Letters to the President: #695 'Luck of the legal draw'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama’s health reform plan has taken a shot amidships from a federal judge who says part of it is unconstitutional. Writing letters to the White House, however, appears to still fall within the bounds of legality.

Dear Mr. President,

The dueling rulings from various judges about your health care reform plan seem to underscore a basic problem - or at least a potential problem - in the judicial branch of government these days. As a practical matter, we seem to be hearing about judges who received their jobs under Democrats saying a Democratic plan is fine, and judges who snagged their robes under Republican rule saying the opposite.

Related video: Virginia AG on health care suit

Each major party seems hell bent on skewing the courts in its favor, by stacking the judicial deck with folks who lean to one side. As a result even as we seek the guidance of the courts about fairness, reason, and the law in these divisive times, I feel as if we are finding just more of the same sitting on the bench.

Please note that I’m not blaming one side more than the other, and frankly I don’t even know if one could accurately measure this trend even if one tried.

All I’m saying is that when I think of justice, I still like to think of the blind statue. I like to imagine that both political parties, for all their differences, would take so seriously the idea of…the importance of impartiality in the courts, that their goals would be to find judges and justices who specifically showed no inclination to favor either liberal or conservative views - people who simply believed in equal application of the laws.

I know, I know, you may be flinching a bit, because this might sound like all that “strict constructionist” talk. This is not that. I understand that our laws, our Constitution, the very nature of who we are changes over time and likely our sense of justice must change too. But it seems to me that the best thing for all of us, no matter our political inclinations, is a judiciary in which professionalism, logic, and not bi-partisan but rather non-partisan opinions are the rule of the day.

But then, who am I to judge? Ha!

Hope all is well. Congrats on the continuing success with the tax package. Call if you can.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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