For The Truth

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Empathy vs. Justice

Writing in 1833 in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story explained that empathy is not the same as justice. Justice must be “freely, fully, and impartially administered.” Without impartial justice, “neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence.”

You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.
Leviticus 19:15 ESV


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