I didn't think that the right-wing would actually declare war on "empathy," but, as Dahlia Lithwick points out, they have, mainly because Obama has said that empathy is a characteristic to look for in judicial nominees and the GOP has already decided to oppose anyone he nominates.
in his first column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, John Yoo denounces empathy, which makes sense considering he's a torture-loving sociopath. He seems to be under the false impression that empathy on the part of a judge means that she bursts out in tears and rules in favor of members of oppressed group because she cannot control herself, but Lithwick explains where he's wrong:
What a tragically crabbed worldview one must have to believe that empathy means being sensitive only to "groups A, B, and C" because they share certain features or beliefs with you. That isn't empathy--that's bias. True empathy turns that notion on its head.[...]
Empathy means being impartial toward all litigants without being blind to the consequences of your decisions. You can send up such concerns as gooey judicial sentimentalism, unmoored from any fixed legal principle. Or you can admit that judging requires acts of judgment beyond the mechanical application of law to facts and that it's best for judges to know when the mechanical act of deciding cases gives way to ideology and personal preference. Empathy isn't sloppy sentiment. It's not ideology. It's just a check against the smug certainty that everyone else is sloppy and sentimental while you yourself are a flawless constitutional microcomputer.