If the words of the written opinion reveal that the judge did not follow the discipline of the judicial process, what sense does it make to take the judgeâ€™s word about what the law means over the word of the president? If the judgeâ€™s own writing does not support a belief that the rule of law has substance and depth, that law is something apart from political will, the significance of saying the president has gone beyond the limits of the law evaporates.
Of course, one could argue that Judge Taylor learned this approach from her peers.
In many respects, this is an oddly argued op-ed. Although, in the end, I believe that her essay is largely decrying the Taylor opinion for its now widely cited legal weaknesses, the degree to which she brings in notions like activist judges and ties it to a questioning of the legitimacy of the judicial branch seems like a risky strategy in this political climate. A quick perusal of her blog gives no indication that her intentions lie in that direction, but it’s always hard to tell without putting in more time than I have this morning….
Later: this, however, is embarassing, and not particularly helpful — Conflict of Interest Is Raised in N.S.A. Ruling