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Paul Nelson

Indeed, Sonya. But in light of the abuse heaped upon the term "empathy," given its connotation of "being disposed to favor one side at the outset," perhaps Justice Stevens is better-served by praise for his "sense of perspective."

While there is certainly a fair bit of overlap between these two things, at least "sense of perspective" is less likely to imply bias (an affliction that folks of every ideology can be happy Stevens studiously avoided).

Similarly, the President would do well to repeat the approach he used for selecting Justice Sotomayor, albeit in pursuit of perspective, not "offensive" empathy.

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  • The National Law Journal invited more than a dozen high court experts to weigh in with their thoughts on Justice John Paul Stevens and his legacy and the future of the Supreme Court.
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