Document Type



This article explains what President Barack Obama meant when he called empathy an “essential ingredient” in judicial decision making and, thus, the outstanding quality he would look for in his Supreme Court nominees. It also provides a comparative study between Obama’s jurisprudence of empathy and Justice James Wilson’s jurisprudence of common sense in order to illustrate the dangers of deciding difficult Supreme Court cases with recourse to unconventional, extra-legal tools.

Date of Authorship for this Version

Summer 8-13-2010


Animal Law; Constitutional Law; Courts; General Law; Judges; Jurisprudence; Law and Society; Legal History; Legal Profession; Politics