You seem to be obsessed with personal values and how they affect our moral and ethical engagement with the external world, particularly in the case of legal interpretation. I’m not going to get into how absurd a proposition it is to conceive of a legal polity existing in an entirely impersonal vacuum, I’ll just let Samuel Alito touch on that, by way of his confirmation testimony in 2006 (speaking on immigration cases):
“But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, “You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country” . . . When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.”
So, anyway I have some questions about what you consider personal values:
1. Is belief in God a personal value?
1a. If not, how do you feel about accepting the “solemnly affirmed” testimony of Quakers who will not swear on the Bible?
2. Is belief in a strict interpretation of the Constitution a personal value?
3. Is belief in the inalienable rights of Man a personal value?
4. Is belief in the separation of Church and State a personal value?
5. At what point does a putatively universal value become a personal value?
5a. What does the line look like between the two?
5c. Who keeps track of and makes decisions about that line?
6. Has the right to bear arms always existed, ex tempore, as a universal value, irrespective of the actual existence of the Winchester Repeating Rifle?
6a. Or, indeed, is the idea of that particular right a personal value?
7. What does a moral world look like without personal values?
7a. Is it a better place?
7b. Is it a worse place?
8. Do you have personal values?
9. (Don’t you wish you’d prepared a bit better for today’s confirmation hearing?)
10. WHY ARE YOU SUCH A DICK?