All too familiar smear job from Adam Cohen in the New Yorks Times: Deborah Cook Is the Typical Bush Judicial Nominee: So Watch Out.
The article attempts to portray Justice Cook as on the side of powerful coporations and out to get the average joe:
In eight years on the Ohio Supreme Court, Justice Cook has been a steady voice against injured workers, discrimination victims and consumers. The court’s most prolific dissenter, she frequently breaks with her Republican colleagues to side with big business and insurance companies. Often she reaches for a harsh legal technicality to send a hapless victim home empty-handed.
What is so typical of this piece is that is questions the integrity and professionalism of Judge Cook based on nothing more than she dissents from her collegues. The problem is that it assumes that what is right is what the majority thinks and that justice is rewarding the less fortunate.
Now I am not a lawyer and I understand that if someone is constantly coming to different conclusions than the majority of her profession that might indicate eccentric positions. But it doesn’t make her wrong. Cohen’s language and argument barely stops short of accusing Cook of being out to get the poor and injured. Cohen doesn’t offer many facts beyond the fact that the other judges voted differently.
I for one appreciate Cook because she was a lone voice for judicial restraint at the Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court has been guilty of outright legislating from the bench on countless occasions including a decade long battle over school funding. Cook has the radical position that the legislature drafts the law and the courts enforce them. When the law is not written to her satisfaction she doesn’t rewrite them from the bench but interprets them as she sees them and lets the chips fall where they may.
But Cohen is not willing to chalk this up to a differing legal philosophy but rather accuses Bush of sinister motives:
The administration is loading the courts with judges who rule in favor of discriminating companies, abusive bosses and employers who injure their workers and lie about it. And it is counting on the rest of us not to notice.
Funny when you accuse the NYT reporters of being lazy, unproffesional, and biased they cry foul but when they accuse judges of being pawns of corparations and out to deny the rights of injured workers they expect us to see it as honest opinion. Nice.