Randy Barnett is a libertarian, but he makes some excellent points about how judicial philosophy is relevant to choosing justices in the NYSun:

“Judicial liberals” are willing to ignore the Constitution when it leads to political results they find objectionable. That is why they place so high a premium on whether a particular nominees favor the outcomes of certain hand-picked cases, and why they lambaste any effort by the Rehnquist Court to hold Congress to its enumerated powers as “activist,” notwithstanding that this is clearly required by the Constitution….

Some Republicans, on the other hand, are quite willing to ignore portions of the Constitution they find objectionable. The Ninth Amendment specifies that: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the People.” The 14th Amendment says that: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Both of these provisions authorize the judicial protection of unenumerated liberty rights. “Judicial conservatives” would have judges disregard them….

…senators ought to vote to confirm candidates nominated by the other party whom they believe have the required intelligence and ability to do the job of judges, and whose judicial philosophy is to follow the dictates of the Constitution, even where it cuts against a nominee’s political inclinations. Those unwilling to do so lack “judicial virtue” and are unqualified. But more than this the opposing party cannot expect….

That no judge should ignore the Constitution when doing so suits their ideological agenda is a philosophy all nominees must accept. So must all senators. For they too have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, the whole Constitution, and not just the parts that, for the moment at least, lead to results they happen to like.

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