Judges, litmus tests, abortion
Conservatives and liberals interested in law have an ongoing fight about whether the Constitution should be "read" (conservatives) or "interpreted" (liberals). What I would like to point out in this post is:
1) Both sides bring something important to the debate.
2) When you combine their arguments you reach a conclusion that no one is willing to admit, but that everyone knows is true. (Pointed out below).
Abortion is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Conservatives say that there is no right to abortion in the Constitution; they're correct. Liberals say that "evolving standards of decency" mean that in a free society a woman should have access to an abortion; they're correct.
When there is a ruling about abortion, not only are judges ruling about what they think is in the Constitution, but they're also ruling about what they think would be best for the country. There is no way to separate these two lines of thought, but you'll still never find a judge who says "Well, I don't think this is the right way to rule, but I'm going to anyway because the Constitution and I just disagree here and I'm going with the big C."