1. Will you please help me to understand the downvotes for https://law.stackexchange.com/q/16913/89 It describes a universal phenomenon, like Why are judges allowed to read news and media opinions?.

  2. How can it be meliorated by editing?

  • You're asking for something that is inherently not possible to give: reasoning for motive that has not been explained by the person whose actions and motive are in question.
    – user4657
    Feb 6, 2017 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


This is an instance of a general pattern of asking for speculative psychologization of choices by one or more authors. In some instances, the motivations that an author has can be known, when the author actually says somewhere e.g. "I said this in X because...", or, when a statement is a virtual theorem of theory Q and it is well-known that the author is a proponent of theory Q. In this particular instance, I thought you might have been looking for such philological evidence in the writings of justices, but it turns out that that was not what you were asking.

It would be fair (albeit really hard to answer) to ask about the connection between a particular judicial philosophy and a set of actual rulings. Scalia is an easy case, since we mostly understand why he says what he says (except when he goes off his own rails) – he has written plenty about law. It's harder to extract the judicial philosophy of O'Connor, but people have done it.

This cannot be ameliorated by editing. Some questions just should not be asked, because they simply do not have answers. Asking about inner motivations behinds an author's actions (wording, for example) generally does not yield an objectively correct and verifiable answer. Questions that have objectively correct and verifiable answers should be rewarded. Questions where every response is equally valid and "true" cannot be distinguished from "false" should be penalized.

You must log in to answer this question.