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Justice David Souter's recent speech

The ABA Law Journal news (1) reports on Justice David Souter’s recent Harvard Commencement remarks concerning Constitutional Law. The text is published in the Harvard Gazette. The whole speech is worth reading, below is an excerpt:

Where I suspect we differ most fundamentally is in my belief that in an indeterminate world I cannot control it is possible to live fully in the trust that a way will be found leading through the uncertain future. And to me, the future of the Constitution as the Framers wrote it can be staked only upon that same trust. If we cannot share every intellectual assumption that formed the minds of those who framed the charter, we can still address the constitutional uncertainties the way they must have envisioned, by relying on reason that respects the words the Framers wrote, by facing facts, and by seeking to understand their meaning for the living.That is how a judge lives in a state of trust, and I know of no other way to make good on the aspirations that tell us who we are, and who we mean to be, as the people of the United States.

In comparison, here is one historical sketch of the judiciary in the former USSR that reveals different values in this area (2):
The prestige and influence of the judiciary is, of course, affected by the extent of its political independence, but other matters are also relevant. The scope of judicial function is narrower in the Soviet Union than in many other countries. Soviet judges are not empowered to refuse to enforce statutes on the ground of their unconstitutionality, though they may refuse to enforce administrative decrees on that ground. Also Soviet courts do not have jurisdiction over major economic disputes, these being left to administrative decision or to Arbitrazh.
Partly because of the limited scope of adjudication in the Soviet Union, Soviet judges (like Western European judges) do not generally come from the ranks of persons with political experience. ( The Soviet judiciary –like the judiciary of many European countries—resembles a civil service.. [T]he tenure of Soviet judges is short—5 years—and in fact there is always a considerable turnover at elections of people’s judges, for reasons which we do not know.)
In discussing Soviet advocates, we stressed that they stand for the adversary presentation of claims and defenses, and that implicit in this stand is a commitment to the principle of personal freedom, including freedom of speech.

(1) http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/souter_speech_at_harvard_is
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/05/text-of-justice-david-souters-speech/
(2) The Jurists Chapter XI by Donald D. Barrry and Harold J. Berman., pp305-311 The book: Interest Groups in Soviet Politics, Edited by H. Gordon Skilling and Franklyn Griffiths. Princeton University Press 1971. Some political scientists approached the study of Soviet politics using interest group theories.

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