Not only do state-court judges possess the power to "make" common law, but they have the immense power to shape the States' constitutions as well.
The judges of inferior courts often "make law," since the precedent of the highest court does not cover every situation, and not every case is reviewed.
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.
OH. MY. GOD!!!
...Fooled ya! The quotes are from Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, heroes of the loony right.
Hat tip to HuffPo.