Justice John Paul Stevens is a smart guy

“What really for me marks a conservative judge is one who doesn’t decide more than he has to in order to do his own job,” he said, relaxed in shirt sleeves and his signature bow tie in chambers floodlit by April sunshine. “Our job is to decide cases and resolve controversies. It’s not to write broad rules that may answer society’s questions at large.”

This is contradictory to his portrayal as a liberal savior by the Democrats.  Very few people understand the terms conservative, though, and liberal has lost any meaning it might have had at one point.

Conservative means parsimonious, not “right-wing”, or “old-fashioned”,or Republican (of all things!).

As the last surviving Justice who served in WWII, he also said:

“It really was a unique period of time, in the sense that the total country, with very few exceptions, was really united,” Justice Stevens said. “We were all on the same team, wanting the same result. You don’t like to think of war as having anything good about it, but it is something that was a positive experience.”

I’ve often thought that.  4 times in history that the United States was “united” were the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWII, and September 11. This unity isn’t simple or trivial, and it doesn’t mean we’re all just a bunch of happy friends. And I don’t think that the people were united for the technically correct reason.  But, even Noam Chomsky was sad on September 11th, and didn’t waste a word on decrying the failed state of the Union.

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