Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Home BUSINESS The United States loses a judicial giant

The United States loses a judicial giant

The United States has lost a great public servant, a consistent and principled jurist. judge Laurence Hirsch Silbermann, who died Sunday at age 86, served for nearly four decades on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely considered the second highest court in the nation. He served with six future Supreme Court justices, from Antoninus Scalia a Ketanji Brown Jackson. He wrote important opinions and spotted jurisdictional flaws lurking as he strove to shape his vision of judicial restraint.

That vision did not please everyone, or anyone all the time. He horrified progressives by rescuing the Second Amendment from obscurity and confounded conservatives by championing the Affordable Care Act. But disappointing those who view judicial decisions through a political lens was part of the job. In his opinion, the judges were limited to considering the arguments of the parties and the text of the statutes and the Constitution, which did not always align with anyone’s political preferences, including his own. At times, his view of judicial restraint was too much for the Supreme Court, as when he refused to look beyond the parties’ arguments to see if the statute they were arguing over was still on the books. But in other cases, the judges followed his example.



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